John Farquhar describes "the Portland solution" to permitting homestay short-term rentals in accessory units. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Council balks at Pritchard Park fencing, maintains ADU homestay ban

City Council postponed a decision on Pritchard Park improvements, approved affordable housing grants of over $500,000 for a controversial South Asheville apartment complex, retained the city’s existing ban on homestays in accessory dwelling units and pitched in to support a planning collaboration that aims to expand access to preschool to all children in Buncombe County.

Asheville City Hall. Photo by Virginia Daffron

City Council to consider packed agenda in last meeting of 2016

Asheville City Council will tackle a long agenda in its final meeting of 2016 on Tuesday, Dec. 13. Council will consider rezoning parts of Asheland Avenue and awarding affordable housing grants to an apartment complex in South Asheville, while hearing reports on finances, fires, the Haywood Street visioning process and the use of accessory dwelling units as homestay short-term rentals.

Council member Cecil Bothwell (far right) reads a proclamation declaring Oct. 28 "Hispanic Restaurateur Day" in the city. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Communicat­ion breakdown: city staff called to account for edible park miscues

City staff were called to account for a communication failure that led to the removal of mature fruit trees at George Washington Carver Edible Park last month. City Council approved a land use incentive grant for affordable housing on Simpson Street, amended the process for requesting a variance from the city’s signage ordinance and approved modest changes to the rules that govern downtown street performances.

Sparrow Pants and Keith Smith of The Resonant Rogues busking at the Flat Iron on Battery Park Ave. and Wall St. Photo by Erin Derham, Buskin' Blues.

New busker regulation­s up for Council’s considerat­ion at Oct. 25 meeting

On Tuesday, Oct. 25, Asheville City Council will consider new rules that would limit acoustic performances in two of the city’s most popular busking areas, the sidewalk on Haywood Street in front of Woolworth Walk and the Flat Iron at Battery Park Avenue and Wall Street. Also: a grant to support affordable housing development on Simpson Street and a change to the city’s signage ordinance.

AVIATION CAREERS: students and faculty from the A-B Tech aviation program were present for Council's recognition of careers in aviation. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Asheville Council to review more building projects citywide, especially hotels

Asheville City Council set itself up for a heavier workload with its decision to move forward on changing city ordinances to reduce the size of development projects Council will review. If the current pace of development continues, more projects will come before Council for approval. Council also signaled its intent to review all but the smallest hotel projects in response to concerns that hotel development has gotten out of hand.

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Zoning to be focus of Sept. 6 hearings before Asheville City Council

It’s been nearly four weeks since City Council last met. Five zoning requests dominate the agenda for Council’s Sept. 6 meeting. Notably absent from the proceedings will be a public hearing on proposed standards for screening electrical substations, a zoning ordinance amendment that has already been postponed many times. Council has been asked to advance the hearing date on that matter to Jan. 10.

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Council to hear residents’ input on bond referendum­; take deciding vote

City Council will hear public input on a proposed $74 million bond referendum at its Aug. 9 meeting — but all Council can do in response to those comments is vote for or against including each of the three bond categories on the general election ballot in November. The deadline to adjust the total borrowing amount in each category was July 26.