Leslee Kulba

Buncombe Explores Incentive Updates

The policy Buncombe County uses to guide awards of economic development incentives to corporations for capital investment and job creation has not been updated since 2017. Incentivizable high wages, therefore, have fallen out of alignment with the cost of living. Strategies to reward corporations for paying high wages, and paying them to persons with criminal records or in jobs training programs, were discussed.

Asheville City Council Puts Money Where Mouth Is

Asheville City Council has been earning a reputation for demanding affordable housing, but then finding reasons to thwart proposals brought before them. This time, when presented with an opportunity to award Land Use Incentive Grants to a developer of micro-apartments, the majority went against staff recommendations and approved the application.

Revitalizing Asheville: Auditorium Woes and Affordable Housing Plans

Mayor Esther Manheimer suggested that Asheville City Council revisit what appear to have been commitments to capital investment that fell by the wayside. These investments include funding needed repairs for the now offline Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, reconsidering the highest and best use for the Pit of Despair, and building affordable housing into an upgraded transit station downtown.

Airport Annual Report: Record-Breaking Passenger Numbers & Economic Impact

The Asheville Regional Airport's 2022 annual report provides updates on ongoing expansions to keep up with significant growth.

Celebrating the Diversity of Luxe Homes

This article is dedicated to those who work so hard and so smart in the service of their neighbors, they are able to live as fine art.

Asheville Needs More Beds

Going to the hospital can be traumatic. It gets worse when you're sick, stuck in a hall, without a heart monitor or even a room number, and in need of attention that is always running behind. So, what's so wrong about Mission building more medical facilities?

Evaluating a Citizen Science Approach to Tick Surveillance & Exposure Risk

Buncombe County residents are encouraged to participate in a NCSU study intended to map ticks in the state and assess the appropriateness of recruiting citizen scientists for similar studies. Participation will involve the preservation and mailing of attached ticks to the researchers.

Asheville City Council Suspends Consideration of Land Use Incentive Grants for Micro-Apartments

For all the rhetoric, Asheville City Council found yet another reason to unlevel the playing field against affordable housing development. This time, it was decided that micro-apartments, a housing design newly-introduced to the Asheville market, needed more study and regulation, at least before the city would consider awarding the developers Land Use Incentive Grants.

Raising the Bar for Affordable Housing

Laurel Street, a Minority- and Women-Owned Business, is partnering with the City of Asheville to build affordable housing on city-owned land. President and CEO Dionne Nelson offered to make 20% of the 221 units affordable to persons earning no more than 60% AMI and another 10% affordable to persons earning no more than 80% AMI. The requested conditional zoning was approved, but members of council would have preferred more sub-market rents, more amenities, and more green features.

Taking Aim at Abandoned Bicycles

Crime, litter, vagrancy, and the cost of living are all on the rise. So, it was with a thankful heart that one citizen, sarcastically, thanked council for attacking the arch nemesis of bicycles left for a week on public racks.