Asheville City Council preview: Jan. 12 meeting

The distance soil-disturbing activity has to stay away from Asheville’s streams will be on the line at Asheville City Council’s Jan. 12 meeting, as Council votes on new stream-buffer regulations.

In 2007, when Asheville City Council approved a new storm-water ordinance intended to control the amount of sediment that flows into the city’s rivers and streams, they decided the stream-buffer portion needed more work. Since then a Watershed Policy Committee has been hashing out a recommendation. The current city ordinance calls for a 30-foot buffer on either side of a stream for any land-disturbing activity, but the state minimum only applies the buffer for grading of an acre or more.

Discussions within the WPC remained divided, with one faction resisting increased regulation in the name of property rights, while another developed a matrix that determined buffer size by factoring in steepness of slopes around a stream. Last year, the Planning and Zoning Commission alarmed the latter group by making a recommendation for the state minimum, but with language that requires sustainable building.

Also on Tuesday’s agenda:
• A discussion (but reportedly no vote yet) on Downtown Master Plan recommendations that Council change the ways in which developments are reviewed. The move could transfer some design approval to the Downtown Commission and the Planning and Zoning Commission.
• A conditional-use request for a new outpatient cancer center at Mission Hospital.
• A change in the conditional use permit for the Glen Rock development in the River District.
• And a report on an initiative to advance Asheville’s energy independence.

City Council meets at 5 p.m on the second floor of Asheville City Hall. Click here for the complete agenda.

— Brian Postelle, staff writer


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