Seeking sustainability: Commissioners consider grant and rezoning resolutions

At its Aug. 17 meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners plans to take action to secure a Sustainable Communities grant, approve a rezoning request for a parcel of land in Swannanoa, and purchase property at 40 McCormick Place in Asheville.

To help secure up to $2 million in federal grant funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the commissioners intend to join a consortium of government and non-profit organizations that includes the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Land-Of-Sky Regional Council. According to the resolution, the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant money would go towards supporting “efforts to promote transportation choices; equitable and affordable housing; economic competitiveness and revitalization; social equity, inclusion, and access to opportunity; energy use and climate change; and, public health and environmental impacts.”

The rezoning request involves a .37 acre lot adjacent to Penland Furniture near the intersection of Old Lytle Cove Road and U.S. 70 Highway in Swannanoa. Gerald Penland has requested that the county rezone the land from Residential District to Commercial Service District to allow for commercial use. Both the Buncombe County Planning Board and planning staff recommend approving the request.

The commissioners will also consider a resolution to purchase property at 40 McCormick Place in Asheville for $699,000. According to the resolution, the downtown real estate was recently appraised for $775,000.

In other business, the board will be briefed on an Innovative Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program that aims to keep individuals with mental illnesses out of jail. It will also select someone from the following candidates to serve on the Asheville Regional Airport Authority:

• John Mark Stroud
• Martha Thompson
• Jon Corbin
• Joe McKinney
• Phil Kelly
• Andrea Block

The board will meet at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, August 17, in the commissioner’s chambers, located at 30 Valley St. A short pre-meeting review of the agenda will begin at 4:15 p.m.

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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