The good thing

Early on in my life, someone told me that there was no problem that couldn’t be solved if you asked the right questions. That advice has come to mind when evaluating what to do about the Parkside condominium project. Anytime a subject so controversial and divisive faces the community, I think we are all torn […]

Asheville City Council

Council members debate scheduled raises City accepts parkland donation With its budget-writing chores nearly done, Asheville City Council members spent the bulk of their brief June 17 work session addressing odds and ends. Most of the conversation centered on how best to tackle the city’s youth gangs. Sign of the times: In this file photo, […]

Poisoned fruit

Developer Stewart Coleman apparently thinks to use a legal loophole to do an end run around public and City Council opposition to his proposed Parkside condos adjacent to City Hall. Here’s what’s wrong with this picture: Aside from the litany of serious problems with his plans, citizen scrutiny of Parkside this past year has exposed […]

Asheville City Council

City cuts event co-sponsorship costs Mumpower again raises immigration issue A proposed statewide moratorium on forced annexation could postpone a decision on four Asheville annexations that are currently tied up in court, City Attorney Bob Oast reported during City Council’s May 20 work session. The band plays on: The Asheville Holiday Parade was spared cuts […]

Asheville City Council

Durant proposes balanced budget Digital billboards get green light The Oaks residents to get city water Swannanoa’s push to become an incorporated town met another delay when Asheville City Council members postponed a decision on the controversial proposal during their May 13 formal session. ZIP it: City Council prefers a scaled-back western border for a […]

Asheville City Council

The sky isn’t falling, but at the Asheville City Council’s April 15 work session, Council members were told that the city can expect tight budgets and lean times for the next few years—probably moving some Council priorities to the back burner. That includes such items as property-tax relief, various major capital-improvement projects, and assorted environmental […]

State of emergency

Asheville wants to end homelessness, right? That’s a noble cause, and I support the good intentions behind this effort. But if Asheville is ever going to achieve this lofty goal, we need to be honest about a few things first. 1) There’s a segment of Asheville’s homeless population that chooses it as a “lifestyle.” Take […]

Downtown parking: A spot of one’s own

City parking, no matter the city, can often be an iffy proposition, especially in a place as vibrant and popular with tourists as Asheville. But that doesn’t mean there’s not enough spots to go around, Council member Brownie Newman told fellow members before they unanimously accepted a parking study conducted by Cary, N.C., firm Kimley-Horn & Associates at Council’s March 25 meeting.

Asheville City Council

Faced with a host of infrastructure wants and needs, Asheville City Council members were nonetheless reluctant to charge ahead with a proposed bond issue during their inaugural work session on March 18. An uncertain economic future seemed to dampen the prospects for issuing some $10 million worth of general-obligation bonds. Chief Financial Officer Ben Durant […]

Asheville City Council

At its March 11 meeting, the Asheville City Council unanimously approved an 11-story, mixed-used building planned for downtown’s south end. Movin’ on up: The planned 11-story Zona Village North One condos will add more vertical scale to downtown’s southside, joining the 15-story Zona Loft planned nearby. Slated to include condos as well as office and […]

Shock ‘n’ awful

According to Asheville’s Building Safety Department, City Council last year authorized almost double—double—the already astronomical dollar value of development that occurred in 2006! Our progressive Council has left a carbon footprint on our beautiful mountains that would make Halliburton blush with environmental embarrassment. How many oxygen-making trees have been permanently displaced by inert impermeables? Thousands? […]

Asheville City Council

The Asheville City Council chamber has seen its share of controversy … but helmets? Scores of people wore protective headgear to Council’s Feb. 26 meeting—not because of physical danger, however, but to show support for a new city bicycle plan. On a roll: Helmet-clad cyclists showed up in droves to support Asheville’s bike plan at […]