“I’m really struggling with this process as a parent, as a councilor,” said Asheville City Council member Sage Turner, as her colleagues considered how they would appoint three members of the Asheville City Board of Education. “I’m really struggling with us not listening to teachers.”
Outside of COVID-19, the top three business issues reported in the latest Asheville Downtown Association survey remain virtually identical to those of previous years: downtown cleanliness, safety and parking for both visitors and employees.
Interest in cycling has increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but funding for bike-friendly roads faces an uphill battle, both in Asheville and across the state.
The new regulations allow hotels with 115 rooms or fewer to avoid a Council vote if they meet a series of design requirements, are located in a newly approved overlay district and contribute to equity-related public benefits.
As plans to redevelop 6.84 acres along Charlotte Street into a mixed-use development move forward, residents are rallying to protect a dozen buildings from demolition.
Hoteliers and hotel opponents alike have waited since September 2019 for Asheville City Council to reach a decision about future lodging development within city limits. On Tuesday, Feb. 23, the countdown clock finally hits zero.
Victoria “Vic” Isley, the new president and CEO of the Explore Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau, says new paid advertising for Asheville, an expansion of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority board to include short-term rental owners and changes to occupancy tax allocation are all on the table in 2021.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners directed health staff to set aside 975 vaccine doses per week — half of the weekly 1,950 doses that North Carolina has been sending the county — for school employees starting Wednesday, Feb. 24.
The yearlong campaign begins April 1 and seeks to outfit at least 100 residents and businesses with solar energy systems by the end of 2021.
Signed by Asheville City Schools Superintendent Gene Freeman on Feb. 5, the agreement with Raleigh-based Forthright Advising drew the concern of Asheville City Board of Education member Joyce Brown during a Feb. 15 meeting of the board.
At the Tuesday, Feb. 16, meeting of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, members will vote to accept an additional $1.75 million grant for the Safety and Justice Challenge from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Daniel Withrow, president of the Asheville City Association of Educators, says that his organization had been preparing to make its first-ever endorsements for Asheville City Board of Education seats this year but was caught off guard when Asheville City Council voted to trim the candidate pool ahead of its posted schedule.
After months of discussion, two Council work sessions and multiple opportunities for public engagement, frustrated residents told Asheville City Council the final hotel proposals did little to advance equity or support employees working in the service industry.
“Many items that are now standard construction practices have been removed from our checklist, while we have added opportunities to gain points for new technologies,” explained Maggie Leslie, the nonprofit’s program director.
While the median sales ratio for the county overall increased by roughly 18% the rise was not evenly distributed. Urban areas such as Central Asheville and Southside generally saw larger percentage gains than did rural areas like Candler and Avery Creek.
Gene Freeman, Asheville City Schools superintendent, gave contradictory statements regarding the potential sale of Asheville Primary School at several meetings over recent months. Xpress has also experienced delays in obtaining basic records of the school system’s discussions.
“If it was truly perceived as an emergency, then I think we would be doing more and talking about it more,” says Asheville City Council member Kim Roney, who was elected in November on a platform that included a local Green New Deal and rapid renewable energy deployment.
Members will discuss the final proposed guidelines to streamline future lodging development — and residents will have one last chance to weigh in — before the city’s hotel moratorium expires on Tuesday, Feb. 23.
Presentations by the Buncombe County Board of Adjustment and Planning Board, both delivered to the county Board of Commissioners on Feb. 2, emphasized the need for changes in how the county handles its zoning and land use policy.
Six months ago, as part of a reckoning on racial injustice, the city of Asheville and Buncombe County both passed resolutions to consider reparations to the Black community as a way to begin making amends for slavery and generations of systemic discrimination. Since then, local officials concede, little has been done.
Upcoming projects include initial steps to expand Deaverview Apartments into a “purpose-built” community and an 80-unit apartment complex for people experiencing chronic homelessness.