This November, Buncombe County voters will determine if the county pursues up to $70 million in bonds. If approved, $30 million would go toward land conservation and greenways, while $40 million would fund up to 3,100 affordable housing units.
The resolution would take effect if either or both of the bond referendums up for November votes were approved. The oversight committee would monitor investments made with up to $70 million in bond money and ensure the funds were being used to meet Buncombe’s goals: conserve 20% of county land and increase affordable housing by up to 3,150 units, both by 2030.
The county’s ad hoc reappraisal committee, tasked with reviewing allegations that Buncombe’s tax assessment process was unfair to low-income residents and communities of color, presented its recommendations to the board. And commissioners approved annual funding for reparations, honoring a request from the joint Asheville-Buncombe Community Reparations Commission.
At the recommendation of the county board’s Environment & Energy Stewardship Subcommittee, which includes board Chair Brownie Newman along with Commissioners Parker Sloan and Terri Wells, members will vote on whether to commit to conserving 20% of Buncombe’s total acreage by 2030.
“The funds would be used to help farmers and others in the county place their grasslands and forests under conservation easements to preserve them for future generations.”
“There has never been what seemed like such a crucial time for understanding how we can continue to feed, clothe and sustain ourselves without crushing the natural world to death.”
“Faced with significant development pressures, we must do what we can to protect some of the region’s natural habitat and biodiversity, as well as our most productive farmland.”
Local restaurant owners face increasing challenges and difficult decisions as Buncombe County lowers dining room capacity to 30%.
“What issues did Xpress readers feel passionate enough about to write letters to the editor or commentaries during a year that promises to go down in history?”
Because the monument stands on city property, Asheville City Council will have the ultimate say; Council is expected to take that vote at its regular meeting on Dec. 8.
Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Chair Brownie Newman lists land use policy as a top priority for the new commission, sworn in on Dec. 7. Board members will likely revisit the county’s land use plan, a document originally developed in 1998 and last updated in 2013, in response to rapid community growth.
Sandra Kilgore, Sage Turner and Kim Roney will officially become Asheville City Council members on Tuesday, Dec. 1. And on Dec. 7, newcomers Terri Wells and Parker Sloan will be sworn in to the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners alongside returning incumbents Jasmine Beach-Ferrara and Brownie Newman.
Xpress has compiled election night summaries for each of the contests previously included in our general election voter guide. The Buncombe County Board of Elections will not officially certify results until Friday, Nov. 13, and the state board will not issue certification until Tuesday, Nov. 24.
“In today’s deeply weird political climate, we need people who unify us, who listen to people and who act for the greatest good.”
“I like the way she integrates issues like growth, conservation, farming and economics in a way that can allow this county to grow sustainably.”
“With her intelligence, energy and something so rare these days — true integrity — she will serve Buncombe County well.”
“To strengthen our community, support our citizens and increase employment opportunities, vote for Terri Wells.”
“If you vote for Terri Wells for county commissioner of District 1, you can expect an honest and hardworking person for your commissioner.”
Candidates in the 2020 general election for four seats on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners give their answers for the Mountain Xpress voter guide.
“A vote for Terri is a vote for family farms, for education and for thriving rural communities!”
“I have no doubt that she will bring her fair-minded dedication to this position, benefiting the whole community.”