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Asheville ranks #2 on list of fastest gentrifying cities
Thursday, 02 February 2017 17:14

‘The quirky creative characters who once defined the city are vanishing’

From Staff Reports

Asheville ranked No. 2 on a list — “The U.S. Cities That Are Gentrifying the Fastest” — featured in a Jan. 23 article by Realtor.com.

Charleston, S.C., came in at No. 1 on the list, followed by Asheville, Washington, D.C., Portland, Ore.; Denver, Colo.; Nashville, Tenn.; Sacramento, Calif.; Jersey City, N.J., Long Beach, Calif.; and Austin, Texas.

Yuqing Pan, author of the Realtor.com article, noted that Asheville has reached 50 percent of its gentrification potential and the median home price increased from $125,000 to $235,000 from 2000 to 2015.

Pan wrote that, “back in 2000, Rolling Stone (magazine) called Asheville ‘America’s new freak capital,’ attracting an eclectic population of hippies, artists and musicians. Today, tourists flock to its craft beer breweries, and gated golf communities sell homes for prices as high as $6.5 million — but the quirky creative characters who once defined the city are vanishing.”
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City takes look at splitting itself into political districts
Thursday, 02 February 2017 17:12

From Staff Reports

Asheville City Council is revisiting a proposal to split the city into political districts — a move it is making after roughly six months following a tough fight that stopped a powerful state lawmaker from forcing the change on the city.

Under the current setup, all seven council members, including the mayor, are elected at-large, a system that allows every city voter to vote on all council seats. Also, there is no residency restriction for council candidates, other than that they live in Asheville.

District systems often vary, but at the minimum they require that some members of the governing body live in the districts for which they are running to assure geographic diversity. Also, voters only can cast ballots for candidates representing their respective district.

Council’s three-member governance committee on Dec. 13 approved examing the possibility of shifting to a district system.

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