Pre-noon alcohol sales in unincorporated parts of Buncombe County gain approval while pro-cannabis advocates urge commissioners to lean on state lawmakers for medicinal marijuana approval.
As population grows in WNC’s once-rural areas, the model of volunteer-based fire and rescue services is giving way to bigger budgets, more training and significant numbers of paid staff. How are the departments keeping up with the changes, and should they be required to conform to the same requirements for transparency and public oversight as other organizations funded by property taxes?
Chief Dennis Presley will retire from the Skyland Fire and Rescue Department as of Aug. 20. His announcement came on Aug. 2, the morning after Weston Hall of Black Mountain spoke during the public comment period at the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners meeting. Hall said that nepotism was creating a hostile work environment at nonprofit fire service departments. He pointed out that Presley’s wife, son, daughter and son-in-law all hold paid positions with the Skyland department.
The Buncombe County Board of Adjustment unanimously approved Duke Energy’s conditional use permit to build a natural gas facility. The utility says the move will help it stop burning coal in Asheville by the end of 2019.
Proposed changes to Asheville’s zoning code discussed at the Aug. 2 meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission aim to ease the city’s shortage of housing, especially affordable housing, by increasing the density allowed in residential areas. The Commission recommended that the city adopt the changes.
Xpress takes a look at how Buncombe County commissioners set the tax rate during off-the-record phone calls and in-person meetings.
Commissioners are looking to allow alcohol sales in unincorporated areas of the county. The law allows for restaurants and grocery stores to sell alcohol starting at 10 a.m. but does not allow for state-run ABC stores to open.
Buncombe County staff presented commissioners with an update on opioid use on Tuesday, Aug. 1. Statistics from Buncombe EMS show some 520 responses to overdoses and poisonings in the first half of this year.
If trust is a function of time, an innovative approach to affordable housing may already be in trouble. On July 13, about 30 community stakeholders gathered in an echoey auditorium at the Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center and took the first meandering steps toward establishing a community land trust. But the two-hour meeting produced […]
When activists hired Spanish-language interpreters for the May 23 meeting of Asheville City Council, some community members questioned why local government bodies aren’t already providing interpretation services at all public meetings.
As part of its summer Buzz Breakfast series, Leadership Asheville (a program of UNC Asheville) hosted “How will Asheville grow thoughtfully?” on July 26 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The event explored the public sector’s role in shaping and encouraging the city’s growth.
Two years in the making, the proposed form-based code for the River Arts District isn’t a done deal yet. At its July 25 meeting, Asheville City Council sent the code back to the Planning and Zoning Commission for deliberation on removing short-term lodging from the uses permitted in commercial areas of the district.
As the deadline approaches for a contract between Mission Health and BlueCross and BlueShield of North Carolina to expire, Buncombe County commissioners are urging the two organizations to get a deal done.
Asheville’s Planning and Zoning Commission met on July 20 to consider a Shiloh subdivision and a 103-room hotel proposed for 49 Tunnel Road. The Commission voted to recommend City Council approve both zoning requests.
On Tuesday, July 25, Asheville City Council will consider a new zoning ordinance for the River Arts District, a referendum on establishing election districts for City Council, a new Tunnel Road hotel, a self-storage facility and a plan to leverage $10 million in bond funding to promote the development of 485 units of affordable housing, among other items.
Retired attorney Sidney Bach and former Asheville vice mayor have filed a motion to amend the lawsuit they brought against the city of Asheville over its general obligation bond program in January. According to the new filing, the city’s plan to charge property owners taxes to cover principal and interest on the $74 million bonds approved by city voters in 2016 is illegal, since the city hasn’t yet issued the bonds.
With the deadline for filing to run for municipal elected office — noon on July 21 — now past, the slate of candidates for Buncombe County elected officials is complete.
At a meeting of the Council of Independent Business Owners on July 14, Sen. Chuck Edwards, Rep. Brian Turner and Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer briefed the crowd on issues including the state economy, taxes, judicial matters, education, Asheville district elections and the River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project. Edwards also used the forum to complain about bias in local media coverage.
Xpress takes a look at Buncombe County employee pay, benefits and retention in comparison to the rest of North Carolina.
The Buncombe County Board of Adjustment unanimously denied a project asking for second conditional use permit. The project has raised concerns among many in the Ridgecrest community and is likely to still move forward with its original permit.