Scheduled for a vote at Council’s regular meeting is a series of revisions to the city’s noise ordinance that would set specific decibel levels for downtown, as well as commercial and industrial areas, as measured from any property away from the source of the noise.
According to Redfin, a nationwide real estate brokerage, the average real estate budget for an outsider moving to Asheville was $615,500 as of April, 31% higher than the average local budget of $469,000. That disparity between outside and local buyers was greater than in either Charlotte or Raleigh.
Critical race theory, a set of ideas about the ways race influences society, drew 13 commenters at a June 3 meeting of the Buncombe County Board of Education. Officials at both the county and Asheville city school systems say they do not explicitly teach CRT and encourage students to develop their own judgments.
Over the past year, the addition of such Black-owned businesses as the Noir Collective collaborative shop, Jawbreaking fashion store, Asheville Iridescence Yoga and Sole82 sneaker boutique has suggested a renaissance for the former Black Wall Street. Yet in a rapidly changing city where obstacles for minority entrepreneurs remain rampant, sustaining that growth could prove challenging.
After pandemic-related financing and permitting delays, work is now underway on the conversion of downtown Asheville’s Flatiron Building into a hotel, with a grand opening planned for 2023. Xpress reached out to some of those directly affected by the Flatiron’s evolution to learn how the building’s sale in 2019 has impacted their lives.
It’s no secret that officers are quitting the Asheville Police Department in droves, but what’s less certain is why officers are leaving. Xpress reached out to more than 50 former APD officers about their resignations. Only two agreed to share their thoughts, both under the condition of anonymity out of fear of professional consequences at their new jobs.
Nearly all of the members of the public who commented on the issue expressed concern over the amount of money being spent to draw more tourists to the area and asked that the funds allocated for advertising instead be spent on city infrastructure, schools and reparations for Asheville’s Black residents.
As of 2019, the latest year for which data is available, Buncombe County had the largest population of adults ages 60 and older in the state with 71,578 people, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. And in 2000, the county received 1,190 reports allegations of abuse of older residents.
Two independent projects are bringing messages of positivity to Asheville residents, one sign at a time.
Xpress, along with the Asheville Citizen Times, Blue Ridge Public Radio, Carolina Public Press and Asheville Watchdog, had incurred nearly $4,200 in attorney fees after suing Asheville over its plan to hold a March 31 City Council retreat behind closed doors.
The Solarize rate of $2.45 per watt of electricity generation is roughly 9% cheaper than the statewide average of $2.67 per watt listed by EnergySage, an industry website. The program, spearheaded by the nonprofit Blue Horizons Project, is able to offer the discount through bulk purchasing of solar equipment for Buncombe County residents.
Newly formed Asheville nonprofit Accessing Needed Crisis and Critical Help Outreach and Resources is proposing a low-barrier, high-access shelter that would forego many of the usual rules for tenants. Start-up costs could reach $6.5 million, with annual operating costs of $3 million, and would initially be funded through Asheville’s approximately $26.1 million in federal coronavirus relief.
Buncombe County’s fiscal year 2021-22 budget — passed unanimously by the Board of Commissioners on June 15 — includes an effective property tax increase of 2 cents per $100 of valuation. It also includes $300,000 toward property tax relief grants.
The Asheville-based photographer established the James Vester Miller Historic Walking Trail to honor her master brickmason grandfather’s numerous local buildings.
The speaker series is part of a three-phase process to create and empower a joint Asheville-Buncombe County Reparations Commission. Once formed, the commission would be tasked with making short-, medium- and long-term recommendations to repair the damage caused by public and private systemic racism.
The policy required staff members to be fully vaccinated by June 1. Some former employees claim that it violates their civil liberties, while Shoji co-owner Roberta Jordan says safety of both customers and staff is her top priority.
Local artists and arts leaders discuss the state of racial justice in the creative community, one year after George Floyd’s murder and the Black Lives Matter protests.
Since investor-owned HCA Healthcare bought nonprofit Mission Health System in 2019, stories are increasingly common of long waits in the emergency room, unsanitary conditions, broken or missing equipment, patients having to lie in their own urine and feces, doctors leaving because of pay disputes and nurses weeping in the hallways because of stress and chronic understaffing.
A public hearing on the proposed budget will take place on Tuesday, June 8, during the regularly scheduled Council meeting. The final vote on whether to adopt the budget will take place on Tuesday, June 22.
Some predict high demand for residential and retail space, as illustrated by several development projects planned or under construction. There are also fears that rising real estate prices may eventually push out some of the artists who have helped make the RAD a magnet.
Work started May 17, and demolition of the 123-year-old monument to Zebulon Baird Vance in downtown Asheville is expected to take two weeks to complete, says city spokesperson Polly McDaniel. Costs to take down the structure block by block will reach roughly $114,000, while an additional $25,500 has been allocated for site restoration following the monument’s removal.