The Buncombe County Board of Elections thinks Director of Elections Corinne Duncan deserves a pay raise, but county staff isn’t so sure. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners said they need more time to consider the request for a less than $6,000 raise — about 5% — and put it off until its Jan. 16 meeting.
From Canton to Hendersonville and Woodfin to Brevard, it was a newsworthy year in cities and towns throughout Western North Carolina.
Some parents have made frequent appearances at school board meetings to argue that various books — usually related to sexual health or depicting LGBTQ+ students and families — don’t belong in libraries accessible to children. The latest edition of Xpress’s WTF — “Want the Facts?” — series looks at the policies and procedures that determine how books are chosen for school and county libraries.
Asheville City Council approved zoning requests for two housing developments at its Dec. 12 meeting, including a 279-unit apartment complex on Lake Julian in Arden and a 281-unit development on Fairview Road in South Asheville.
The Asheville City Council is slated to reconsider a zoning request for a proposed 279-unit apartment complex in Arden at its Tuesday, Dec. 12 meeting. The development was previously discussed at the Nov. 14 Council meeting but was delayed due to concerns regarding family-sized housing and renewable energy.
Despite over an hour of public comment opposed to the proposal, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to rezone 764 acres owned by Biltmore Farms adjacent to the Pratt & Whitney plant.
A joint recommendation drawn up by education and economic development focus groups from the commission focused primarily on what facilitators called an “education resource campus” to provide a place where Black folks know they could access resources.
Local officials are still reeling over a little paragraph in the state’s 625-page budget in which lawmakers exempted themselves from public record requirements. Section 27.7 of the 2023 Appropriations Act says that current and former legislators “shall not be required to reveal or to consent to reveal any document, supporting document, drafting request, or information request made or received by that legislator while a legislator.”
The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority unanimously approved a total of $100,000 in funding for 25 local events and festivals at its Nov. 29 board meeting. According to Tiffany Thacker, director of grants for Explore Asheville, the investment in the projects will “enhance local experiences for both residents and visitors.”
On Tuesday, Dec. 5, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will conduct a public hearing on the rezoning of more than 760 acres of land owned by Biltmore Farms adjacent to the Pratt & Whitney plant.
After existing provider WastePro proposed rate hikes as part of its contract renewal, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Nov. 21 to seek alternative providers on the open market.
High-speed fiber internet is on its way to several rural communities in Buncombe County, thanks to a $3.3 million state grant. Nearly 1,000 households will receive fiber internet service over the next two years, according to Buncombe County Director of Economic Development Tim Love.
As part of a potential contract extension, WastePro is proposing an almost $3 increase to $25.16 per month to continue its existing services. Customers currently pay $22.55 monthly.
Asheville City Council voted unanimously Nov. 14 to postpone a vote on a proposed 279-unit apartment complex in Arden over concerns around a shortage of family-sized units and lack of renewable energy. The project was unable to get a formal recommendation to Council from the Planning and Zoning Commission at its Oct. 4 meeting; however, the developer asked to continue with the zoning approval process.
“I did not realize that we were so far ahead of everybody else in North Carolina,” said state Sen. Julie Mayfield, D-Buncombe. “All of these other cities do a great job of marketing themselves, and they don’t spend as much money as we do.”
The complex is proposed for 2 Butler Road in Arden and is set to include five separate residential buildings. Four would include 45 units each, alongside a central building with an additional 99 units, according to planning documents.
Ryan Cole, assistant emergency services director for Buncombe County, told the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Nov. 7 that conditions now remind him of what fueled the blaze that burned more than 7,000 acres in three weeks near the Buncombe-Henderson county line.
Over $40 million in upgrades could be coming to a number of schools in Asheville and Buncombe County if the request from the School Capital Fund Commission is approved at the Tuesday, Nov. 7, Buncombe County Board of Commissioners meeting.
The new amenity, which will be located at the intersection of Rankin Avenue and College Street, aims to offer residents, visitors and the unhoused a safe, clean place to go when nature calls.
Asheville City Council at its Oct. 24 meeting unanimously approved a zoning change required to upgrade McCormick Field. The modifications to the site’s zoning requirements at 30 Buchanan Place include allowances for the project to exceed height restrictions and bypass parking space requirements.
After 18 months of meetings and nearly $500,000 spent, Asheville’s reparations commission — tasked with making recommendations for restitution for generations of racial injustice — has now lost its second project manager in a year. Additionally, the commission is asking for more time to draft its final recommendations.