Highest on city staff’s list of potential funding priorities were affordable housing, public engagement, homelessness, public and mental health, small business recovery and workforce development.
The new rules will take effect Wednesday, Sept. 15.
“City Council, we demand that you comply with the Unified Development Ordinance and deny the Killians’ request for a conditional zoning permit.”
Scheduled for a vote at Council’s regular meeting is a series of revisions to the city’s noise ordinance that would set specific decibel levels for downtown, as well as commercial and industrial areas, as measured from any property away from the source of the noise.
In Asheville and Buncombe County, the return to in-person government meetings has also meant a return to in-person public comment — and the end of live remote comment, despite there being no technological obstacle to continuing the practice. The decision has drawn concern from citizens who say it reduces their ability for civic participation.
After pandemic-related financing and permitting delays, work is now underway on the conversion of downtown Asheville’s Flatiron Building into a hotel, with a grand opening planned for 2023. Xpress reached out to some of those directly affected by the Flatiron’s evolution to learn how the building’s sale in 2019 has impacted their lives.
“So sad. The endless hotel and condo building. And, if you are in doubt as to how mindless and thoughtless it all seems to be, look at the architecture.”
“Asheville deserves a noise ordinance based on proven science that will create a safer, healthier, more sustainable, more socially just and more livable Asheville for everyone.”
During its June 22 meeting, Asheville City Council voted 6-1 to approve the $201.67 million operating budget for fiscal year 2021-22, which includes an effective property tax increase of 2 cents per $100 in valuation and $8.7 million in new spending. Kim Roney was the sole vote against the budget, arguing that the tax increase would harm poorer residents.
While City Manager Debra Campbell is still recommending a property tax increase to help cover $8.7 million in new city spending, a staff report available before the meeting explains that a lower rate can be achieved by using other revenue sources.
“Let’s replace that obelisk with a giant microphone in honor of the late, great Nina Simone!”
“To maintain civic cohesion, we must convince these souls that despite the failure of their cause, they can return to the fold as legitimate members of this community. Think of it as a kind of reconstruction.”
Asheville City Council and the community will participate in city business face to face for the first time since April 2020. The meeting will take place in the Banquet Hall at Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville at 5 p.m.
A public hearing on the proposed budget will take place on Tuesday, June 8, during the regularly scheduled Council meeting. The final vote on whether to adopt the budget will take place on Tuesday, June 22.
“The city of Asheville needs to adopt a zero-tolerance policy on camping in city parks. It is not sustainable, is unsanitary and just plain does not work.”
The land would be earmarked for a “transit-oriented development” designed to combine a larger transit center with affordable housing and commercial space.
“Other cities have used their occupancy taxes to direct millions to infrastructure and social programs while still supporting vibrant tourism industries. Why can’t we?”
“I’m grateful that local leaders have worked to make the feelings of inclusion I’ve experienced now a legally prescribed reality for all LGBTQ+ people.”
The proposed tax rate of 41.3 cents appears lower than the current rate of 42.89 cents, explained city Director of Finance Tony McDowell. However, the median tax bill will still go up from $995 to $1,215 — more than 22% — due to the 27% increase in median property value for Asheville residents assessed by this year’s Buncombe County revaluation.
“The affordable housing problems of Asheville will not be solved by destroying our heritage.”
At their regular meeting of Tuesday, May 11, Council members will consider whether to expand the definition of a kitchen, prohibit the use of detached accessory structures for homestays and require that non-resident property owners be listed as co-hosts on homestay applications.