While Friday’s part of Asheville City Council’s annual retreat focused on broad policy matters, Saturday morning’s session focused on perceptions (including “very bad” ones) and relationships (sometimes not very happy ones) with the legislature in Raleigh and the local public.
Clustered around tables in the U.S. Cellular Center banquet hall during the first day of their annual retreat, Asheville City Council and city staff deliberated everything from affordable housing to surveillance. Here are a few highlights of their discussions.
It’s that time of year again: this Friday (and part of Saturday), Asheville City Council and city staff will meet to discuss goals and challenges in the coming year at their annual retreat. Topics include the city’s big goals, affordable housing and development, future investments, and the impact of the state legislature.
From African American Heritage and land conservation to zoning and Moogfest, Buncombe Commissioners are planning to cover a lot of ground at their Feb. 4 meeting.
The local historic home of Lillian Exum Clement Stafford, the first woman elected to the North Carolina General Assembly, is now protected by a preservation easement.
Despite the snow, Asheville City Council met Jan. 28, wrapping up its business in an extraordinarily short 19-minute session. With a small agenda, Council passed new lighting and zoning records rules.
To thrive in the uncertain job market of the future, students will need to become proficient with technological tools that are advancing at a lightening pace. And to help them keep up, the Asheville City Schools Foundation is seeking community partners to build off recent successes and overcome a range of challenges. (photo by Jake Frankel)
Initially, next week’s upcoming Asheville City Council meeting, on Jan. 28, promised a showdown over a controversial development near downtown. With that matter withdrawn, however, the remaining items on the agenda are changes to the city’s rules to encourage less light pollution and modifications to development guidelines to bring them in line with new state laws.
On Jan. 1, just to be dramatic about it, my car died. Since then I’ve relied on Asheville’s transit system.
With prospects of a special tax to fund a downtown Business Improvement District unlikely, the board for Asheville’s Downtown Improvement District is officially going dormant. According to a board representative, the members continue to work to accomplish the BID’s goals through other organizations and methods.
Asheville Police Department Lt. Mark Byrd, claiming the city of Asheville’s management and the APD’s leadership retaliated and discriminated against him on a number of occasions, including when his wife filed a sexual harassment suit, filed a lawsuit in federal court Jan. 21.
After nearly a year of debate, Buncombe County commissioners unanimously voted Jan. 14 to spend $40.5 million to build a new Asheville Middle School.
A group, People’s Voice for Transportation Equality, presented an agenda for an overhaul of the Asheville Transit System to make it more responsive to its ridership at a rally this afternoon. The group is calling for late-night and Sunday service, more representation in the decision-making process and more accountability, among other changes. Photo by Michael Carlebach
On Jan. 14, Asheville City Council approved an overhaul of development oversight along with a new infrastructure plan for the River Arts District, Council also created a City-County African-American Heritage Commission and rezoned a small development on steep slopes in North Asheville.
What’s needed to solve Asheville’s housing crunch? Fewer development hurdles, a city “land bank” to preserve property for affordable housing, more density and a hard “target number” for units that need to be created each year— these are some of the ideas to come out of a recent meeting of the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee.
This coming Tuesday, Jan. 14, a group of transit riders and citizens will assemble in Pack Square to call for an overhaul of the city’s system that “prioritizes the needs of the people who use public transit out of necessity.” The group has a 19-point plan to improve transit services and make the management of the system more representative of its ridership.
At their first meeting of 2014 on Jan. 7, Buncombe County Commissioners unanimously agreed to give $1.12 million in cash grants to Jacob Holm Industries to help it expand local operations. They also agreed to spend $213,726 to hire 17 new county workers at the Health and Human Services Department and approved new zoning regulations governing renewable energy facilities.
As part of a major effort to examine Asheville’s lack of affordable housing and possibly overhaul the way city government approaches the issue, the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee interviewed a range of developers to find out why many don’t build affordable housing. They replied that the costs of land, a lack of infrastructure, insufficient transit, city rules inhibiting denser development and neighborhood opposition all play a role in why many of them don’t build more affordable units.
At their first meeting of 2014 on Jan. 7, Buncombe County Commissioners will seek public feedback on a plan to give $1.12 million in cash grants to Jacob Holm Industries to help it expand local operations. They’ll also consider hiring 17 new workers at the Health and Human Services Department, as well as new zoning regulations.
Asheville City Council’s 2013 was marked by financial turmoil, the first major tax hike in more than a decade, the demise of a long-standing festival, and major fights with the Legislature in Raleigh.
It was a historic year for Buncombe County government, as the first Board of Commissioners to be elected by districts took the reins.