The Land of Sky Regional Council, which serves 71 local governments across Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, and Transylvania counties, recently added educational attainment to its portfolio of goals for Western North Carolina.
At its meeting of Tuesday, Sept. 22, Asheville City Council will vote on a budget amendment that would fund the APD at roughly $29.3 million, a reduction of $770,000 from a previous proposal. Many activist groups, including Black AVL Demands, have called for a 50% reduction to the APD and reinvestment in community services.
Buncombe County must submit a detailed application for up to $900,000 in federal grant funding that will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Rachel Nygaard, the county’s director of strategic partnerships, said residents should weigh in on the county’s plan as soon as possible.
Asheville City Council unanimously approved three amendments to Asheville’s Unified Development Ordinance at its meeting of Sept. 8. Now, tree preservation will be required in commercial and residential areas.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will vote on a resolution to adopt LEED Gold standards for new public facilities over 10,000 square feet and major renovations. The county’s policy would also require all new buildings to be constructed with solar-ready design and achieve net-zero energy use “where feasible.”
Despite the state reporting some of the lowest COVID-19 case counts in the Southeast, the White House Coronavirus Task Force continues to place North Carolina in the “red zone.” The designation means state health officials reported more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people in the last week.
All tactical decisions during Asheville’s protests for racial justice in June — including the use of chemical weapons and the destruction of a protester medical station — were made entirely by Asheville Police Department officers, said City Attorney Brad Branham on Sept. 8. But determining Council’s culpability was beside the point, public commenters argued.
Members expressed unanimous support for extending the city’s hotel moratorium — previously set to expire later in September — an additional five months, giving Council and city staff more time to fully develop new standards for hotel development.
Board member Rick Livingston, who made the motion to deny the recommendation, said the proposed SE Asphalt plant’s location in a “very residential area” off the Spartanburg Highway was incompatible with both the county’s comprehensive plan and East Flat Rock’s community plan.
From Mars Hill in the north to Rosman in the south, from Black Mountain in the east to Maggie Valley in the west, the Hellbender Regional Trail system would link major municipalities in the five-county French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization region through paths devoted to bicyclists and pedestrians.
Before Asheville City Council’s regularly scheduled meeting of Sept. 8, the six members will interview six contenders to fill the seat vacancy left by Vijay Kapoor. Later in the evening, they’ll hear what the community thinks about another hot topic: hotels.
The appointment could shape the outcome of the general Asheville City Council election on Tuesday, Nov. 3. And the very night that the appointee is expected to take their oath of office — Tuesday, Sept. 22 — they will also cast what may be the deciding vote on funding for the Asheville Police Department.
After a unanimous Board of Commissioners vote on Sept. 1 to adopt a new Schedule of Values — the regulations used by Buncombe tax assessors to determine how much all property in the county is worth — owners have until Friday, Oct. 2, to file an appeal over the rules.
The future direction of Asheville City Council lies in the hands of its current six members. On Tuesday, Sept. 8, Council will select a replacement for Vijay Kapoor — and city records reveal no consensus on who the ideal candidate should be.
According to a staff report available before the meeting by Jennifer Barnette, Buncombe County’s budget director, the money comes from two federal programs funneled through the N.C. State Board of Elections. The federal coronavirus rescue package accounts for about $183,000 of the funding, while the Help America Vote Act provides the remaining $172,000.
COVID-19 stalled the expansion of medication assisted treatment into NC’s prisons, but the demand for it is just as high — if not increasing.
Starting next week, the city of Asheville will hold virtual public meetings to discuss what City Manager Debra Campbell preferred to call “reimagining” the Asheville Police Department.
President Donald Trump, accompanied by his daughter, Ivanka, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, toured Flavor 1st Growers and Packers in Mills River on Aug. 24 to see firsthand how local farmers are working to feed individuals in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At a time when COVID-19 makes meeting up for in-person sports less safe, says Asheville Parks and Recreation staffer Maxime Pierre, virtual activities provide an outlet for competition and help to keep the department relevant. But he says video games also allow the city to engage with a larger group of residents than had been served through traditional sports.
Per the joint city and county resolution that established the group, a “recommendation regarding the removal and/or repurposing of the Vance Monument” must be delivered to Asheville City Council and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners within three months of Aug. 4, when the final members were appointed.
Asheville City Council will take a brief respite from conversations about policing and budgets to consider new standards for tree canopy preservation at its meeting of Tuesday, Aug. 25. Three public hearings will address different parts of the proposed standards.