Asheville City Council

Trees dominated the agenda at the Asheville City Council’s Jan. 18 work session. From a discussion of what to do about a developer in Montford who cut a swath of trees after promising under oath not to, to turning thumbs down on a staff-initiated plan to hire a private firm to craft a forest-management plan […]

Nothing but the truth

At the outset of every conditional-use-permit hearing held by the Asheville City Council, City Clerk Maggie Burleson whips out the Bible. Sure, some Council meetings would try the patience of a saint. But Burleson isn’t seeking solace in scripture — she wields the Bible because North Carolina law requires it. It’s a sight familiar to […]

Sticking to their guns

“We’re going to have to pay up, guys.” — Council member Terry Bellamy on the need to raise the salary for the new city manager Despite making progress on two high-profile issues, Asheville City Council members came away with mixed feelings about the overall effectiveness of their annual retreat. Council did take action on the […]

Asheville City Council

What a difference a couple of years makes. In 2002, concerns about traffic congestion threatened to derail a massive, highly controversial east Asheville development project. Toward the end of a 14-hour public hearing and Council debate that played out before a standing-room-only crowd that overflowed into three adjacent rooms, however, the developer volunteered to scale […]

Asheville City Council

“Brevity,” wrote Shakespeare, “is the soul of wit.” That particular bit of wisdom, however, isn’t generally reflected in Asheville City Council meetings, which typically drag on and on, leaving those in attendance at — well, at their wits’ end. But The Bard would probably have approved of the Oct. 12 formal session, which clocked in […]

Asheville City Council

“When we start criminalizing poverty, we’ve gone too far.” — Council member Terry Bellamy It’s been said that admirers of law and lovers of sausage should watch neither being made. And the March 23 formal session of the Asheville City Council might serve as a case in point. It was well past midnight when the […]

Nightmare on Eagle Street

It began with a dream. A revitalized African-American business district that would pay homage to the memory of the one that had somehow managed to thrive there years before in the shadows of segregation. A vibrant, prosperous district that would empower Asheville’s contemporary black community — and, perhaps, help heal the ugly legacy of racism. […]

Asheville City Council

“It is no secret that I have questions about the whole project.” — Council member Joe Dunn An initiative designed to link Asheville to an evolving statewide rail network roared into City Council’s Feb. 17 work session, but unanswered questions and concerns about the plan’s viability prompted Council members to creep ahead cautiously rather than […]

Asheville City Council

“I’m afraid that what has happened to our community will happen again.” — EMSDC supporter Althea Goode “Basically, this is a routine budget amendment,” observed Planning and Development Director Scott Shuford as he introduced the evening’s main event. But then, after a pause, he added, “As if anything about this project could be routine.” Shuford’s […]

Asheville City Council

Six voices, speaking in unison, can make quite a noise. But when Asheville City Council member Brian Peterson attempted to convince his colleagues to exercise their collective voice on the issue of the DOT’s eight-lane proposal for I-240 through West Asheville, he found not harmony, but discord. Council’s June 18 work session convened less than […]

Asheville City Council

With the Interstate-26 Connector design forum looming on the near horizon, Asheville City Council took a last opportunity to thank those agencies that plan to participate, and to urge the N.C. Department of Transportation to consider all the possibilities emerging from the forum. At their July 11 meeting — a short and sweet one, with […]

Asheville City Council

Speedway foes and advocates alike were spilling out of the full-to-bursting chambers at the Asheville City Council’s last formal meeting of the millennium. But, faced with passionate public comments about the proposal, City Council decided not to rule, just yet, on a request that could lead to a new speedway complex being built on city-owned […]