Seal_of_Asheville,_North_Carolina

Asheville City Council to vote on budget

Asheville City Council will vote on the city’s 2017-18 budget for the fiscal year that will begin July 1. New pedestrian safety measures for Fairview Road, an affordable housing development on city-owned land and a strategy aimed at allowing Asheville residents to control the method used for electing representatives to City Council are also on the agenda for the Tuesday, June 13 meeting.

ELEVATED LIVING: The 133-unit Stoneyard Apartments proposed for 175 Lyman St. in the River Arts District must be elevated above flood level. Design by Form & Function Architecture

P&Z votes in favor of new RAD zoning code, 133 apartments

A proposed form-based zoning code for the River Arts District passed its final hurdle before moving on to Asheville City Council for consideration. At a well-attended meeting of Asheville’s Planning & Zoning Commission on June 7, a 133-unit apartment complex on Lyman Street, a self-storage building on Gerber Road and a zoning change on Forsythe Street also got the commission’s nod.

ADDRESSING A CRISIS: State Attorney General Josh Stein speaks about the opioid crisis and listens to the problems facing Buncombe County at a conference in Asheville on Tuesday.

Attorney General Josh Stein discusses opioid crisis in WNC

State Attorney General Josh Stein visited Asheville on June 6 to discuss the region’s efforts to combat the far-reaching effects of the opioid crisis. While not alone among North Carolina counties in dealing with drug abuse, overdoses and drug-related deaths, Buncombe County’s problem is significant, local representatives and Stein said.

CURRENT EVENTS: Water rushes down Canterbury Road during a recent storm, carrying rocks, gravel and sediment along its path. Residents of the Albemarle Park neighborhood, which lies to the east of Charlotte Street at the foot of Sunset Mountain, say flooding in the area has increased dramatically over the last few years. According to the city’s 2016 stormwater capital improvement projects plan, a $1 million effort to improve drainage on Canterbury Road should begin in the 2017-18 fiscal year. Photo by Rich Mathews

Climate change, aging infrastruc­ture and rapid developmen­t fuel Asheville stormwater woes

A changing climate, aging infrastructure and rapid rates of development are contributing to a rising tide of stormwater problems in Asheville. But responsibility for stormwater infrastructure often rests with private property owners, complicating the process of planning and paying for fixes.

Members of the Reuter Center Singers sing the national anthem as the Asheville High School JROTC present the colors during the annual Memorial Day ceremony.

Asheville and Buncombe County pay tribute to fallen veterans and emergency responders

Despite gray skies and sporadic rain showers, a crowd of more than 200 gathered in Pack Square Park on May 29 to pay tribute to fallen veterans and local emergency responders. Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer, Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Chair Brownie Newman and representatives from different branches of the military, as well as local police and fire departments, presented a wreath to honor the fallen.

BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER: While community members largely spoke out in favor of Alternative 4B for Section B of the I-26 Connector Project, several aspects of NCDOT’s design, such as the three bridges that would span the French Broad River near Montford (above), have a coalition of Montford neighbors and others questioning the scale and scope of the design. Image via NCDOT; courtesy of DWAC

Despite progress, concerns about the I-26 Connector persist

When the DOT finally decided on a design for Section B of the Connector project in 2015, many stakeholders thought they saw light at the end of a very long tunnel. Other residents, however, see serious flaws in Alternative 4B, questioning whether the project’s long-term benefits will justify the sacrifices their neighborhoods must make to see it completed.

CLEAN RUN: French Broad Riverkeeper Hartwell Carson says reducing sediment runoff into area streams and rivers is a critical part of maintaining the health, beauty and ecological function of these critical parts of the ecosystem. Photo by Jeff Rich

Muddy Water Watch app celebrates first anniversar­y

It’s been just over a year since the locally developed Muddy Water Watch app was launched, enlisting citizen watchdogs to help protect their communities’ waterways. Conceived by the environmental nonprofit MountainTrue as an enhancement of its existing Muddy Water Watch program, the app makes it easy for residents to report potential problems with sedimentation in streams as well as other water quality issues.