Nonprofit organizations made their best pitch to City Council’s Housing and Community Development Committee for a share of federal and city funds for the 2017-18 fiscal year at a day-long meeting on Friday, March 24. Some left happy, while others expressed dissatisfaction with a process they said favored established city partners who had received funding in prior years.
When the WNC Nature Center learned the city of Asheville’s subsidy for the facility would shrink by more than half over three years, the environmental education attraction wasn’t immediately sure how it would make up the funding shortfall. But it didn’t take long to figure it out: the Nature Center met the three-year goal in only one year. The attraction is expanding to meet demand, and visitation is setting new records nearly every month.
Through their elected leaders, Asheville voters will now have more say-so over development projects downtown and new hotels citywide.
While 2016 statistics show increasing availability in the area’s rental housing market, Asheville renters say their choices remain limited and prices steep. Several city initiatives — including a $25 million affordable housing bond referendum approved by voters in November — aim to bolster the supply of affordable housing, while some private-sector players are pursuing similar goals.
City Council voted unanimously to deny the zoning request for a 185-room hotel at 192 Haywood St. at its Jan. 24 meeting. Police Chief Tammy Hooper gave an update on policing in the city in 2016.
City Council hosted chairs of the city’s boards and commissions at a luncheon at the U.S. Cellular Center on Jan. 10.
This year’s meal fed over 700 people and was served by community volunteers, including Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer, Vice Mayor Gwen Wisler, District Attorney Todd Williams and Terry Bellamy, director of communications for the Asheville Housing Authority.
The city of Asheville hires a professional polling firm to survey 400 registered Asheville voters on attitudes toward the proposed bond referendum and the projects it could fund.
At its June 14 meeting, City Council approved a conditional zoning request for a 290-unit apartment complex off Long Shoals Road that will displace 55 low-income families from a mobile home park located on part of the project site.
The Governance Committee of City Council voted on Monday, June 13 to move forward with exploring a potential city bond referendum that would appear on November’s general election ballot.
Asheville’s last comprehensive city plan was completed in 2003. Since then, the city has gained 16,000 residents and embarked on a wide range of revitalization, infrastructure and multimodal transportation projects. Now it’s time to begin a new planning process that will span a year and a half and involve a broad cross-section of the city’s residents.
In addition to her new role as Vice Mayor, Asheville City Councilmember Gwen Wisler serves on a long list of important city boards and commissions, as well as civic organizations. Xpress talks with Wisler to find out what’s on her mind as she leads city projects from the budget to the update of the citywide comprehensive plan.
One clear winner from the 2015 City Council elections: local hopes for a public space for the city-owned lots facing the Basilica of St. Lawrence and the U.S. Cellular Center. Not so clear: exactly what kind of space Asheville needs and who will pay for it. The city’s Planning and Economic Development committee took up the hot potato issue to try to figure out how to move forward.
At a Southside neighborhood meeting on Monday, Feb. 1, Parks & Recreation director Roderick Simmons said his department has no plans to close the Walton Street Park and Pool at 570 Oakland Rd.
If the 23 mature oak trees at 11 Collier Ave. on Asheville’s South Slope are to escape the chainsaw, it will have to be without the city’s help. While City Council followed through on its commitment to explore possible strategies for preserving the urban forest, in the end Council decided that committing resources to the effort in advance of significant private fundraising wasn’t a responsible use of taxpayer assets.
At a luncheon on Jan. 14, Mayor Esther Manheimer and Vice Mayor Gwen Wisler welcomed new and returning city board chairs and commissioners to their important positions in city government. Roundtable discussions produced suggestions for enhanced collaborations between the city’s 34 boards and commissions and other parts of city government.
In its first full meeting since three newly-elected Council members were seated, City Council moved in new directions on a public space for a city-owned lot on Haywood Street and on including some accessory dwelling units in the city’s homestay ordinance for short-term rentals. Council also considered downtown development review standards and passed a resolution on the I-26 connector project.
Newly-elected Asheville City Council members were sworn in on Dec. 1. The new Council selected Councilwoman Gwen Wisler as Vice Mayor. Mayor Esther Manheimer pronounced the short, upbeat meeting a “good start” for the new body.