CONSERVATIVE COMRADES: Local conservative leaders Carl Mumpower, left, and Chris Peterson unfurl the flag of Rivergatia
after announcing their intent to secede from Asheville. Image via Flickr; design by Norn Cutson

HUMOR ISSUE: Peterson declares Rivergatia­, secedes from Asheville

SATIRE: In a stunning turn of events, the city of Asheville’s Riverfront Redevelopment Office announced today that it has sold the former 12 Bones property on Lyman Street back to former owner Chris Peterson. Shortly after the city made its announcement, Peterson declared that the property will secede from Asheville and form its own town, “Rivergatia.”

POLITICAL CLIMATE CHANGE: Although total voter registration in Asheville grew by almost 19,000 individuals in the past decade
and a half, the number of registered Republicans decreased by nearly 3,000. While there was a spike in Democratic registration
around the time of Barack Obama’s first election, the recent growth in registration has been mostly from unaffiliated voters. Meanwhile,
for City Council elections, Democrats are showing up in disproportionately high numbers. Graphics by Able Allen with data
from the Buncombe County Board of Elections

How local organizers shifted Asheville politics to the left

Movers and shakers on progressive issues have had increasing success in Buncombe County politics since the turn of the century. Activists and organizers on the left have carved out a stronghold in Asheville where they keep power by setting the agenda for conversation according to some. Meanwhile a rise in disaffiliation with the traditional two parties leaves openings for candidates that don’t fit traditional molds in Asheville politics.

CALL TO COMMUNITY: Members of the South Asheville community living around the CTS of Asheville superfund site gathered with EPA staffers, county officials and other community representatives to discuss the impending remedial efforts to address TCE contamination emanating from the former industrial property. Photo by Max Hunt

CTS clean-up moves forward as community wrestles with torrid past

Cleanup efforts are finally beginning at the CTS of Asheville Superfund site on Mills Gap Road, but past controversies and a lack of trust in Environmental Protection Agency officials continued to dominate the discussion during a Nov. 30 public meeting to review the impending remedial projects and address residents’ concerns.

HAYWOOD ROAD CORRIDOR: On Nov. 28 City Council voted to not permit lodging of 20 rooms or fewer as a use by right in all the districts covered under the Haywood Road form-based code. The impetus behind the move includes concerns over potential negative impacts of whole-house, short-term rentals on the housing market. Image courtesy of the city of Asheville

City bans most lodging along Haywood Road

Coming on the heels of the city blocking short-term rentals in the River Arts District, City Council voted against allowing such lodging throughout the Haywood Road corridor. At its Nov. 28 meeting, City Council placed heavy restrictions on lodging along Haywood Road in West Asheville, specifically targeting whole-unit short-term rentals such as those offered through Airbnb.

The Isaac Coleman community investment grant program is named for community leader Coleman, who died in 2016. Dee Williams, right, is project manager for one of seven projects funded through the grant program. Photos courtesy of Coleman and Williams

County letter prompts scrutiny of Southside training program

A group that’s receiving funding from Buncombe County’s Isaac Coleman Community Investment Grants has been instructed to take corrective action after discontinuing one component of its programming, a masonry skills job training course. County staff says it is working with United Community Development to find a solution.