The easement, which would allow a road to cut through Pack Square Park, would also require the approval of Buncombe County Commissioners and the Pack Square Conservancy. In addition, the Parkside project is still being considered for appeal after a Superior Court ruling that Pack Square must remain a public space, and Council members said they wanted to see how those decisions play out. Mayor Terry Bellamy also said the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners has the chance to “close the loop” that was opened when they sold the Pack Square parcel to Coleman in the first place.
Denying the easement, Coleman said, would force him to move the condo development 15 feet closer to City Hall and widen Marjorie Street on the other side of the building. In response, Council instructed city staff to investigate possible ways to have approval over construction that borders Pack Square.
• Crowne Plaza Resort expansion: Council voted 4-3 to approve a level III conditional-use permit allowing the expansion of the Crowne Plaza Resort. This despite the fact that three out of four I-26 connector options — including the Council-endorsed alternative 4B — would run through the property. Carl Mumpower, Robin Cape and Mayor Terry Bellamy voted against the approval. The split decision means Council will have to have a second reading.
• Green-upgrades funding: Council members Cape and Brownie Newman asked Council to pursue state legislation that would allow municipalities to form funding sources to encourage green upgrades by property owners. An example, taken from several municipalities in California, allows a city to issue bonds that are then used to loan money to property owners, who then pay back the loans by way of increased property taxes.
The request to the N.C. General Assembly passed 4-2 with Mumpower and Vice-Mayor Jan Davis voting “no.”
• Parks connector: And Council voted to green light construction on a connector between Azalea Road Park and Carrier Park through the former Edaco salvage yard on Azalea Road. The vote was 6-1, with Mumpower voting “no.”
For complete coverage of the meeting, see the March 18 issue of Xpress.
— Brian Postelle, staff writer
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