Thursday, November 17, 2016

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 day.

Other topics include discussions of city development trends and shifting demographics, a summary of building permit activity, an update on the city’s Comprehensive Development Plan, a review of planning and zoning code amendments, and a look at the city’s non-revenue water program.

Of particular interest to many what the city has to say about plans for issuing bonds now that authorization for them -- $32 million for transportation, $25 million for affordable housing and $17 for parks and recreation -- has been approved.  The bonds passed by a three-to-one margin but opposition to them, though it materialized late, was intense.

If you can’t make it to the forum yourself, don’t fret.  Asheville Unreported will be there for you, and will tell you all about it.  Watch for our coverage.

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