In case you missed them, here are some of Xpress’ most intriguing stories from the week of Sept. 13.
In the seven months since the city of Asheville altered its regulations to give City Council more oversight over large building and hotel projects, Council has approved two proposed hotels. Xpress takes a closer look to see what it looks like when hotels try to pass muster before Council.
Hunger Action Month brings a fresh-produce hub for Haywood and Jackson counties, an expansion of the MANNA Packs for Kids program and a new initiative that engages tourists in raising funds to alleviate food-insecurity in Asheville and beyond.
“I believe the euphemism I’m looking for is, ‘Are you kidding me right now?’ An Asheville rental at $3,160?”
Asheville’s Planning & Zoning Commission heard the last hotel zoning application submitted under the city’s previous zoning rules, which changed on Feb. 14. The commission approved a 112-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel planned for 26 Meadow Road. Moving forward, any hotel project with more than 20 rooms will have to make its case to City Council as a conditional zoning application. The conditional zoning process gives the elected officials more discretion than P&Z’s guidelines allow.
Asheville’s Planning & Zoning Commission approved a 74-room hotel on Sweeten Creek Road, an increase in the number of units included in the proposed redevelopment of Lee Walker Heights, changes to the cottage development ordinance and upgrades to a county waste transfer station on Hominy Creek Road. The commission met on April 5.
While reviewing recent results and planning for the coming year at its annual strategic planning retreat, the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority also grappled with its biggest challenge — convincing locals that the tourism industry is a positive force in the region.
” So, basically, we’re going to tell you one thing and do what we’ve always done; this is just to mollify those folks always whining about overdevelopment.”
Through their elected leaders, Asheville voters will now have more say-so over development projects downtown and new hotels citywide.
After more than a year of public input and review, proposed development changes that would bring more downtown projects before Council for review will go to a vote on Tuesday, Feb. 14. The new rules also include a provision for Council to review all hotel projects with 21 rooms or more anywhere in the city.
“Many people believe, as I do, that the majority of City Council members have been influenced by the hotel lobby — the elephant standing in the city’s living room.”
New year, new hotel. Asheville City Council will review its first zoning request for 2017, and it’s a big one: the proposed 185-room Embassy Suites hotel on Haywood Street, across the street from the Hotel Indigo and the Hyatt Place and next door to the Carolina Apartments.