Showing posts from November, 2016

Lurking neighborhood “density” issue emerges during city’s development forum

By Roger McCredie
The city likes the idea of greater urban density.  Neighborhoods don’t.  At least that was a sentiment expressed when the hot-button issue surfaced during the fall City Manager’s Development Forum, held last week at the U.S. Cellular Center.
City Planning and Urban Design directorTodd Okolichany told an audience made up primarily of private developers, realtors and property owners his department is drafting a zoning change that would slash lot width and area requirements in residential areas by 20 per cent.
Insiders say the city has long been considering such a move because it would promote infill – and therefore create more density – within Asheville’s neighborhoods.
Simply put, the lot size reduction would allow for squeezing more new structures into smaller available spaces.  But that doesn’t sit well with residents who see a distinct possibility that adjacent spaces which presently allow them elbow room and privacy can be replaced by cheek-by-jowl new houses or apart…

City says forum will give citizens a look At current economy, future plans

Early plans for bond money expected to be unveiled
Asheville’s Office of Economic Development will host its semiannual Development Forum Friday (November 18) in the grand ballroom of the U.S. Cellular center.
The forum, which will run from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., is being billed as an opportunity for stakeholders – to use a favorite cityspeak term – in the city’s development plans to have “an opportunity to learn about current development trends, regulatory updates, and management initiatives.”
Stakeholders in this case include “members of the development community, design professionals, contractors, real estate community and [last but not least] citizens.”
According to the city, those present “will hear the latest on the Asheville area’s current economic indicators and the financial and economic challenges facing the City,” including an update on the $74 million general obligation bond package (and its attendant $36 million in interest) that was passed by Asheville voters on election da…

Corporate donations pay for pro-bond campaign

Donors include engineers, builders, relatives of city staff By Roger McCredie

Cui bono?”  “Who benefits?”  According to Wikipedia, the Latin phrase is “an adage that is used either to suggest a hidden motive or to indicate that the party responsible for something may not be who it appears at first to be.”
In this case a look at documents filed by the nonprofit that was formed to promote the $74 million bond package Ashevillians will vote on Tuesday shows exactly who is likely to benefit by its passage – or at least who’s counting on it enough to put money behind the proposal.
The third quarter contributions report of the AVL GO Bonds Committee, which was formed in August to receive and spend moneys to promote the bonds, lists substantial donations from several engineering and construction firms, as well as a $750 contribution from Equinox Environmental, the landscape architectural firm headed by David Tuch, husband of Shannon Tuch, Principal Planner in the city’s Department of Planning a…