Council moves BID public hearing to larger venue

Because of large crowds expected, Asheville City Council is holding its regular meeting of Tuesday, April 23, at the Banquet Hall at Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville at 87 Haywood 4 p.m., an hour earlier than usual.

City Clerk Maggie Burleson tells Xpress that a large turnout is expected for a public hearing on a Business Improvement District for downtown Asheville.

A public hearing on another controversial topic — a rezoning for a large development at 767 New Haw Creek Road — has been postponed until Tuesday, June 11.

According to previous reporting from Xpress, the BID would assess 9 cents per $100 of value in a property for downtown property owners and residents — about $360 per year for a property assessed at $400,000 — to provide enhanced safety, hospitality and cleaning services. The estimated annual operating budget for the BID could reach $1.25 million and could fund enhanced litter removal, landscaping and beautification efforts and a staff of downtown safety ambassadors

Asheville City Council approved a BID in October 2012 and created a 13-person citizen board consisting solely of downtown property owners and residents charged with overseeing the district’s funding goals. However, tensions flared between the board and city government over the BID’s tax and how to proceed. By 2014, the board had dissolved, leaving Asheville’s BID essentially dormant.

A city staff report notes that the current BID proposal requires two votes from Council; one held on Tuesday, May 14, and the second on Tuesday, June 11. If approved, the governance structure of the BID will be established at a later date. 

In other news

Council will consider a resolution allocated $4.6 million in Housing Trust Funds toward five affordable housing projects.

And, Council will consider a resolution to approve $237,000 in Strategic Partnership Grants to five local agencies to support low- to moderate-income school-aged youth.

Consent agenda and public comment 

The consent agenda for the meeting contains 22 items, which will be approved as a package unless singled out for separate discussion. Highlights include the following:

  • A number of resolutions regarding the Asheville Police Department, including resolutions to accept $65,195 from a federal Edward Byrne Justice Assistance grant to help pay for first responder kits;  $20,486 award from the U.S. Department of Justice Bulletproof Vest Partnership to help the APD purchase 52 bulletproof vests over two years with a matching amount from the city; a resolution to apply for the 2024 Office of Community-Oriented Police Services  and U.S. Dept. of Justice Law Enforcement and Mental Health and Wellness Act grant to continue a wellness coordinator position; and apply for a $154,638 High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas grant.
  • A resolution authorizing a lease agreement with Pack Square Property LLC for property located in the Jackson Building Complex at 22 S. Pack Square, 14 S. Pack Square and 8 Market St. for the Asheville Fire Department. The current location of Fire Station 1 will be demolished this fall as part of the Municipal Building Capital Repairs and Restoration Project.

  • A resolution to increase a contract amount with Chonzie Inc. by $109,402 for demolition work related to the Vance Monument. The city hired Chonzie in March 2021 for the project but was required to stop work just months later to comply with a N.C. Court of Appeals and Supreme Court court order. The Supreme Court ultimately ruled in the city’s favor, and the order staying removal was lifted. Chonzie will finish the demolition and removal of the monument, and alter the monument’s materials “in some way that would make it impossible for the monument to be reassembled.”

The meeting will also be carried live on Charter/Spectrum Channel 193 and live-streamed 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 6075.

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. Voicemail messages can also be left at 855-925-2801, meeting code 6075; written comments can be sent to until 9 a.m. April 23. 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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