Buncombe County opioid settlement graph

Buncombe shapes plan to tackle opioid crisis

Buncombe behavioral health manager Victoria Reichard noted that the county has received roughly $2 million of a more than $16 million lawsuit settlement, negotiated with pharmaceutical companies over their role in the opioid epidemic, this fiscal year. Of those funds, a county team has recommended about $518,000 in immediate spending.

Buncombe County seal

Commission­ers to hear early childhood education update

The presentation, available on the Board of Commissioners agenda prior to the Sept. 6 meeting, focuses on the nearly $3.75 million awarded from the county’s early childhood education fund in fiscal year 2021-2022. Across 21 funded projects, according to the presentation, 71% of goals were met, with most shortfalls coming in enrollment, attendance and staffing targets.

Enka Commerce Park new plans

Developmen­t roundup: Enka Commerce Park requests change of plans

Enka Partners of Asheville requests an amendment to the conditional zoning on 45.5 acres on Enka Heritage Parkway to allow for new site plans. Because a tenant expected to lease the space — widely suspected to be online retailer Amazon, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times — backed out, the plans have been redesigned to call for over 585,000 square feet of spec space.

Asheville Planning and Zoning Commission

Are local developmen­t boards diverse enough?

“The thinking used to be, you put some architects on there. And you’d want to have a real estate investor, or a developer, or someone who’s a real estate agent, or you’d have some prominent business owner,” says Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer. “We’ve recognized that you need a Planning and Zoning Commission that’s more reflective of your community.”

Coxe Avenue redesign

Developmen­t roundup: South Slope Vision Plan up for review

The plan, to be considered by Asheville’s Planning and Zoning Commission July 6, contains ten key initiatives, including a gateway to reconnect McCormick Field and Memorial Stadium with downtown, public art installations, commemoration of the neighborhood’s African American history, affordable housing and transforming Coxe Avenue into a tree-lined “green Main Street.”

Phillip Hardin, Buncombe County's economic services director

Buncombe commission­ers tweak homeowner grant eligibilit­y

Mobile-home owners can now receive the grants, while those who own multiple dwellings or receive other tax reductions will no longer be eligible. Those with “liquid resources” (cash or financial assets that could be converted to cash within a week) of more than $60,000 will also be disqualified, a change from the terms recommended by county staff.