House Bill 2, property reappraisals set to go before Buncombe County Commissioners

Nonprofit agencies will make their case for funding from Buncombe County's upcoming budget for Fiscal Year 2018. A total of 46 nonprofits are asking for an aggregate of almost $11 million.

Responding to North Carolina House Bill 2, consideration of the county’s property tax revaluation and a proposal to sell land previously reserved for Deschutes Brewery are among topics the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will discuss during its meeting on Tuesday, April 5.

New business

The commissioners are slated to vote on a resolution that addresses NC HB2, a state law approved by the legislature during an emergency session last month. The new law overturns a recent nondiscrimination ordinance passed by the city of Charlotte that included an explicit allowance for transgender men and women to use bathrooms and changing-room facilities based on the gender they identify with. The state law goes a step further, forbidding other local governments in the state from approving ordinances similar to Charlotte’s.

The resolution that commissioners will consider states, “this Board is of the opinion that it is in the best interest of the citizens and residents of the County to reiterate its support for a culture of diversity and inclusion.”

Ultimately, the resolution would not bring about a change in policy but, if approved, would reiterate the county’s dedication to its Personnel Ordinance, which aims to foster a workplace supportive of diversity and inclusion.

After a stalemate last month, commissioners will yet again consider having real estate reassessed. Staff reports state property is currently valued at 50 to 85 percent of its value for the 2,600 neighborhoods the county assesses, creating an unfair burden on residents outside of Asheville city limits. If approved, the reappraisal values, according to the county’s Tax Director, would be sent out around mid-January, 2017. North Carolina General Statutes require real estate property to be reassessed at least every eight years. Buncombe County last assessed real estate property in 2013.

Another issue going before commissioners is a call to solicit bids for the sale of a 137-acre property on Ferry Road, the previously confidential and potential expansion location for Deschutes Brewery. Buncombe County purchased the parcel for $6.8 million in April 2015 in hopes of landing the Oregon-based brewery’s East Coast expansion that eventually landed in Roanoke, Va. If approved, the county could immediately begin its search for a buyer.

Lastly, commissioners will consider creating a Utility Energy Innovation Task Force with the City of Asheville and Duke Energy as part of the trio’s commitment to “working to delay or avoid the construction of an additional fossil fuel powered combustion turbine electricity generating facility at the Asheville Plant site in 2023.”

Public hearings

Commissioners will hold a public hearing on whether to rezone an unincorporated parcel, located at 441 Windsor Rd., to Residential District R-2. The land is currently an undeveloped, 2.25-acre lot. County staff is recommending approval of the zoning request.

Also scheduled is a public hearing concerning the Buncombe County Planning Board’s proposed amendments that would modify the Subdivision Ordinance Amendments. The changes would bring the county into compliance with HB 721, by shoring up roadbed and utility improvements and erosion control measures. The Planning Board unanimously approved the amendments and county staff recommends approval.

Finally, there will be a public hearing concerning zoning ordinance text amendments. County staff is recommending approval.

Board appointments

County commissioners will make appointments to the Planning Board, Adult Care Home Community Advisory Board and the Women’s Commission.

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners entire agenda can be seen here.

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About Dan Hesse
I grew up outside of Atlanta and moved to WNC in 2001 to attend Montreat College. After college, I worked at NewsRadio 570 WWNC as an anchor/reporter and covered Asheville City Council and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners starting in 2004. During that time I also completed WCU's Master of Public Administration program. You can reach me at dhesse@mountainx.com.

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6 thoughts on “House Bill 2, property reappraisals set to go before Buncombe County Commissioners

  1. What is “gender expression”?

    Charlotte ordinance: “Sec. 12-58. – Prohibited acts. (a). It shall be unlawful to deny any person the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public accommodation because of race, color, religion, sex, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or national origin.”
    bit.ly/1RxldwX

      • What is “gender expression”? Did I miss someone explaining that or did the topic veer off to a discussion of me again?

        Charlotte ordinance:
        bit.ly/1RxldwX

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