Changing of the guard?

The past few years have been busy ones for the Buncombe County Planning Board, as the county’s seen the advent of zoning, record growth and more than one controversial development-related issue. During that time, four board members simply stayed on after their three-year terms had ended, despite not being formally reappointed (members can serve up […]

Going up?

The Haywood Park project is big: On that, everyone agrees. Developer Tony Fraga‘s proposed megaproject would fill up much of the block between Page Avenue and Haywood Street in downtown Asheville, including a 100-unit, high-rise condominium tower; a 200-room, 23-story hotel; 42,000 square feet of office space; 80,000 square feet of retail space; and 506 […]

Broadway doubles down

Wearing a hard hat and shades, Kevin Kerr taps a column of pinkish stone in the soon-to-be-completed Pioneer Building on Broadway just behind Greenlife Grocery in Asheville. The new neighborhood: A postcard showing the Five Points Village plan and surrounding structures that are planned for Broadway. According to the developers, the Pioneer Building will be […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

An expert is a person from more than 50 miles away with a briefcase. Recently the city of Asheville hired a group of experts called Goody Clancy all the way from Boston, Mass., to tell us what we should do with our downtown in order to appease our no-growth activists. It seems like we go […]

Buncombe Commission­ers

Commissioners ponder $317 million budget Residents decry proposed land-disturbance rules Buncombe County’s economy remains in better shape than those of many other areas, County Manager Wanda Greene reported at the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners at their May 20 meeting. But rising costs, unemployment, foreclosures and a contracting housing market will create some challenges—about $6.9 […]

The writing on the wall

The man came to me, explaining with unassailable logic why, in the face of a tax revaluation that threatened to tear the communities of Jackson County apart, his quiet community by the river would be safe from the proposed 4,000-acre development of golf courses and mountain mansions. “Two percent of the people in this country […]

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? […]

Clean clear through

When elected officials conduct their business in the sunshine of public scrutiny, their constituents can have full faith and trust that the decisions made are aboveboard, well-considered and in the best interest of the general public. At the local level, maximizing the public’s access to government empowers communities and builds leaders. Over the last couple […]

What if they had a conference and no speakers came?

Ah, Asheville. Add another feather to her urban-mecca cap: a two-day national convocation on Urban Environmental Design for Community Sustainability, coming to the Asheville Civic Center on March 19 and 20. The conference will be carried out using the nontraditional “Open Space Technology” method of individual participation, with self-organizing groups and fast-paced, consensus-based solutions—doing away […]