Asheville City Council report: No crime increase since reopening Hillcrest pedestrian bridge

At their June 14 meeting, Asheville City Council members took the following actions:

• Proclaimed June as LGBT History Month and June 27 as National HIV testing day.

• Heard a report on the Hillcrest pedestrian bridge, which was reopened about six months ago. Other than vandalism related to the security cameras, there has been no increase in crime and there have been no pedestrian deaths on I-240, Interim APD Police Chief Wade Wood reported.

• Rezoned the Asheville Chamber of Commerce property to allow a farmer’s market — which starts today, Wednesday, June 15.

• Adopted various changes to the Planning and Zoning process, such as shifting public comment on some issues to the P&Z board meetings instead of the Technical Review Committee, and adding members to the P&Z board.

• Discussed various state legislative developments, such as Senate Bill 108, which bans same-sex marriage; the bill would also ban domestic-partnership benefits, recently implemented by Asheville. Also discussed bills that would potentially strip city ownership of the airport and the water system.

• Shifted fair-housing complaints from the Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council to the Human Rights Commission.

* Created a permanent Affordable Housing Advisory Committee.

* Expanded the powers of the Planning and Zoning Commission to deal with major subdivisions and medium-sized projects.

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