Asheville City Council preview: Ingles edition

A large Ingles supermarket development on Smoky Park Highway seeking an exemption from the city’s regular zoning rules is the main item at the March 22 Asheville City Council meeting.

Council first discussed the matter on Feb. 22, but kept the public hearing open to give Ingles time to modify the development to meet city standards.

During the previous meeting, city staff asserted that Ingles’ inability to meet the guidelines wasn’t the result of difficulties caused by the site, but simply because Ingles wanted to design the store according to its normal plan. Attorney Gene Ellison, representing Ingles, has asserted the increased lighting, parking, sidewalk and tree plans, which don’t conform with the city’s usual rules, were needed for better safety. Council members expressed skepticism about Ellison’s justifications, noting that big-box chains such as Wal-Mart have met the city’s rules in the past.

Council will also consider a development ordinance change to parking requirements in the River Arts District, a “visioning” process for the East End neighborhood and spending $284,000 to replace heating and air equipment at Pack Place, and opposing “unnecessary cuts” to the state’s universities and community colleges.

The meeting begins 5 p.m., March 22 on the second floor of City Hall. A pre-meeting budget briefing will begin at 3 p.m. on the first floor of City Hall.

— David Forbes, senior news reporter


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