One might be forgiven for feeling like they’ve been here before when looking at the agenda for Asheville City Council’s Oct. 26 meeting. The major items — new rules for cellphone towers, an annexation, incentives for Montford Commons and incentives for sustainable and affordable housing — have all been before Council during the last few months.
Council agreed to delay rule changes expanding the usage of cellphone towers in residential areas at its Sept. 14 meeting, along with one such proposed tower, located in a cemetery in the Beaverdam area, which has attracted considerable opposition from some area residents.
While Council balked at taking in the Royal Pines area at its Oct. 12 meeting, the city may expand to take in the Coopers Hawk Drive area, as Council has kept that on the agenda.
Another oft-delayed item is an incentive package for the Montford Commons development. Council originally found the incentives the developer asked for too high, but several members praised the project and later directed city staff to work out an incentive deal. That deal would waive half the project’s fees and any increase in property taxes for the first five years, in return for the completion of the 250-unit project and a commitment that its apartments will be available at workforce housing rates for the next 15 years.
Last of the returning items is a series of development incentives for affordable and sustainable development along the city’s major transit corridors including allowing them greater density than normally allowed and removing a requirement that some must go before Council for approval. The new ordinance passed a first reading 4-3 at the Oct. 12 meeting, and now must pass muster a second time.
Asheville City Council meets at 5 p.m., Oct. 26 on the second floor of City Hall.
— David Forbes, senior news reporter