Council to set legislative priorities ahead of NC short session

As the North Carolina General Assembly gears up for its legislative short session next month — which occurs in even years and can last anywhere from six weeks to several months — Asheville is preparing to make its positions known on a number of issues that could affect the city.   

During the Tuesday, March 26 meeting of Asheville City Council, City Attorney Brad Branham will present Council members with the city’s legislative priorities and requests for the upcoming year.

This year’s priorities include supporting bills that will identify new funding for city infrastructure and services; entice property owners to reduce stormwater pollution; and offer changes in how Buncombe County can spend its occupancy tax funds. 

As in previous years, the city plans to oppose efforts that would limit municipalities’ ability to regulate short-term rentals, or that would remove or restrict local governments’ ability to apply conditional zoning.

Previous legislative priorities have included calls for changes to Buncombe County’s occupancy tax allocation. Buncombe County was required to spend 75% of its occupancy tax revenues on tourism advertising and the rest on capital projects. The legislature changed the allocation in during the last short session in 2022 to 66% and 33%, respectively. 

Asheville also supported bills that would allow the city to train civilian traffic investigators to help respond to minor traffic accidents. That measure also passed in 2023.

According to a city presentation, the 2024 short session begins Wednesday, April 24. New bills must be submitted by Monday, April 15, and introduced between Thursday, May 2 and Tuesday, May 7.

In other news

Council will consider increasing charges for city services for fiscal year 2024-25, as recommended by city staff. According to a staff report, city staff recommends that the typical household pay $12 more per year for solid waste services; $5.64 more for stormwater management; and $2.34 more for water services, for a total of about $20 more per year. 

If approved, the new fees would go into effect Monday, July 1. 

Consent agenda and public comment 

The eight-item consent agenda for the meeting will be approved as a package unless singled out for separate discussion. Highlights include the following:


  • A resolution authorizing the City Attorney’s Office to condemn an easement needed for the Hominy Creek Greenway. The City of Asheville has legal access to all but one of the properties that make up the greenway. After failed attempts at an agreement with the property owner to purchase an easement for the greenway, the city plans to use eminent domain for the easement and pay the owner $22,000 to gain legal access through the property.



  • A resolution authorizing $17,000 more to contract Training Development Associates Consulting for program administration for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant and HOME programs. The additional funds are needed to complete closeout work and assist with the year’s HOME funding cycle.The new total for the contract is $103,000.

Council members will meet in their chambers on the second floor of City Hall, located at 70 Court Plaza, starting at 5 p.m. The meeting will be carried live on Charter/Spectrum Channel 193 and livestreamed through Asheville’s public engagement hub and on the city’s YouTube channel. Members of the public can listen live by calling 855-925-2801, meeting code 10181.

Those who wish to speak during the meeting must attend in person and sign up at the door. No live remote comment will be permitted. Prerecorded voicemail messages can also be left at 855-925-2801, meeting code 10181; written comments can be sent to until 9 a.m. March 26. General comments for City Council can be sent at any time to

The full meeting agenda and supporting documents can be found here.


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