As residents and visitors took in the fleeting sights, sounds and smells of the Mountain State Fair last week, local musicians struggled to find practice space and legal eagles from the city of Asheville and Buncombe County dug through dusty old deeds to research the ownership of the site of Asheville’s Vance Monument.
In case you missed them, here are some of Xpress‘ most intriguing stories from the past week.
A mystery in-deed: Who owns Pack Square?
by Max Hunt
Pack Square lies at the center of Asheville’s sense of itself as a city, but recent attention to the area — and the monuments to Confederate figures located there — has highlighted a curious anomaly of history and law: No one can say for sure who owns the piece of land where the Vance Monument sits. Read more
Local musicians struggle to find affordable practice spaces
by Alli Marshall
Unlike most U.S. cities with music scenes, Asheville doesn’t offer lockout spaces or practice facilities for local or touring artists. When a storage unit facility asked local bands to leave, it left many musicians scrambling for creative solutions. Read more
City passes two hotel projects under new policy
by Carolyn Morrisroe
In the seven months since the city of Asheville altered its regulations to give City Council more oversight over large building and hotel projects, Council has approved two proposed hotels. Xpress takes a closer look to see what it looks like when hotels try to pass muster before Council. Read more
Raising questions: Past pay increases present puzzles
by Dan Hesse
As questions swirl around an ongoing FBI probe into former Buncombe County Manager Wanda Greene, some top officials are scrutinizing the results of a directive they say was meant to boost the earnings of the county’s lowest-paid employees. Read more
Fire it up: Outdoor grilling law opens up new options for Asheville restaurateurs
by Jonathan Ammons
State legislation passed at the end of May offers an affordable way for eateries to expand their menus and draw more customers. Read more
Asheville’s streetcars take a farewell tour, Sept. 6, 1934
by Thomas Calder
After 45 years of service, the final seven street cars departed from Pritchard Park on Thursday, Sept. 6, 1934, heading toward West Asheville for one last ride.
Beacon site in Swannanoa subject of public comment period
by Virginia Daffron
The contaminated former site of the Beacon Manufacturing Co. in Swannanoa has stood vacant since a massive fire destroyed the plant in 2003. The property’s owners are asking state regulators for permission to redevelop the site, and the public has until Sept. 29 to submit comments on the proposal. Read more