Here’s more of what’s going around:
-The Asheville Planning & Zoning Commission on Wednesday unanimously rejected revised zoning regulations for the city’s River Arts District that banned short-term rentals.
The background: The River Arts District Form-based Code is the official name for the proposed zoning regulations, and it came back to P&Z for review after Asheville City Council members on July 26 expressed disagreement on two pieces of the proposed regulations, which have been in the works for about two years now.
On short-term rentals: The first issue was short-term rentals in the RAD. Four City Council members – Mayor Esther Manheimer, Vice Mayor Gwen Wisler, Julie Mayfield and Gordon Smith – said they wanted to ban those under the new form-based code. The popularity of Airbnb-type rentals run amok in the area was one of the reasons this bloc opposed. The rest of City Counil – Cecil Bothwell, Brian Haynes and Keith Young – said they opposed that last-minute change, and said that’s not the way officials treat short-term rentals in the rest of the city. (They’re mostly allowed in commercial districts and not allowed in residential districts.)
Back to P&Z: Wednesday night, P&Z voted unanimously against the amended zoning regulations that banned short-terms in the RAD. Chairman Jeremy Goldstein told me in a telephone interview Thursday morning that the commission felt the move was unfair – it’s not the the way short-term rentals are treated in other parts of the city – and such a big change should go back through a public input process similar to the one that led to creation of the form-based code.
-The city of Asheville will hold its 9/11 remembrance ceremony at 8:30 a.m. on Monday in front of the Municipal Building at 100 Court Plaza in downtown. The ceremony will honor the memory of the firefighters, law enforcement officers, and other first responders and civilians who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Asheville Fire Chief Scott Burnette will lead the ceremony on behalf of the City of Asheville, along with Asheville Police Chief Tammy Hooper, according to a press release.The ceremony is open to the public.
–Sow True Seed has launched a crowd-funding campaign seeking $35,000 to build a climate-controlled seed storage facility.
-There’s a public hearing from 7-10 p.m. on Sept. 27 in Courtroom 1A of the Buncombe County Courthouse regarding Duke Energy’s plan to ask the N.C. Utilities Commission for permission to raise residential electric rates by more than 16 percent.
-Warren Wilson College professor and author Phil Jamison is scheduled to speak at The Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in October, according to a press release. Jamison is a nationally known dance caller, old-time musician and flatfoot dancer who recently published. “Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics: Roots and Branches of Southern Appalachian Dance.” Here’s more:
As the director of Warren Wilson College’s Traditional Music Program, Jamison is typically a featured speaker or performer at Appalachian music and dance programs across the country. On Sept. 16, he will offer a keynote address to the Western North Carolina Historical Association. The next weekend, Sept. 22-24, Jamison heads to Berkeley, Calif., for the Berkeley Old-Time Music Convention. He’ll be back in time for Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Day the following Saturday.
In addition to the book talk, Jamison will also speak and perform at the Smithsonian Institution’s 2017 Archives Fair. His Oct. 21 presentation at the National Museum of American History is titled “Western North Carolina Buckdancers, Flatfooters, & Charleston Dancers.”
-This fall, visitors to The North Carolina Arboretum will be entertained, alarmed and enlightened as they walk through the halls of a ramshackle manor and experience the dangerous world of Wicked Plants: The Exhibit, according to a press release. More:
After five years traveling across the country, Wicked Plants, a one-of-a-kind exhibit designed and created by the Arboretum, will return to the Arboretum’s Baker Exhibit Center on Sep. 16 and will be on display daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Jan. 7, 2018.
Inspired by author Amy Stewart’s best-selling book, “Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother and other Botanical Atrocities,” Wicked Plants offers a fun, safe and educational way to explore some of nature’s most toxic flora. Two- and three-dimensional interactives fill a Victorian-era home, where visitors travel from room to room and learn about various poisonous plants that may be lurking in their homes and backyards. From a crime scene investigation in the potions laboratory, to sniffing stations in the bathroom, to a simulated graveyard featuring 24 of the most common deadly and toxic plants, Wicked Plants provides a comprehensive overview of an often unknown side of the natural world.
On Sept. 21 the arboretum will host a special reading and book signing by Amy Stewart from 6 to 8 p.m. in the arboretum’s Education Center. Tickets are $10 for Arboretum members and $12 for non-members and must be purchased in advance at ncarboretum.org. Parking is included in the ticket price.