The City of Asheville has hired a consultant, Opticos, to launch an intensive study of Missing Middle Housing opportunities in the city and to make recommendations to the City Council sometime toward the end of the year. These recommendations will likely lead to a directive to City staff to develop a Missing Middle Housing Plan.

As part of this study, Opticos and the city Department of Planning & Urban Design the formed a Missing Middle Housing Advisory Committee to give input that will help shape the Missing Middle Housing recommendations.

The advisory committee has 16 members, each representing an identified stakeholder, such as builders, affordable housing advocates, and the Urban forestry Commission.

The Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods is one of those stakeholders.

The following links will provide content about the Missing Middle Housing Study, as well as periodic updates by Patrick Gilbert, CAN's representative on the Missing Middle Housing Advisory Committee.

Missing Middle Housing Posters    Missing Middle Housing Draft Report     Missing Middle Renters Survey

CAN's presence on the advisory committee demonstrates its credibility and the importance of its input into major City initiatives. All Coalition of Asheville members can help CAN's contribution by going to this page, checking out all of the updated content and taking action when called upon.




In October a 100% volunteer rebuild of a legacy playground will be conducted.

This park, recently renamed the Candace Pickens Memorial Park, will be rebuilt under the direction of "Playgrounds by Leathers". This presents an opportunity for skilled and unskilled volunteers to be organized thru Crew Chiefs to raise this structure over the five day period. Close coordination of tools, child care, and meals will provide logistical support throughout.

This project will replace a long-time playground that has supported a public school and the surrounding community for a generation.

Won't you please join this effort by signing up today. Further information can be provided through Bob Williams! 828.505.6885 or willib.bw@gmail.com


UDO Amendments - Notifications to Residents on New Developments

On June 13, the City Council will hold a public hearing and vote on several important amendments to the Unified Development Ordinance related to the neighborhood meeting process for proposed development projects.

 These amendments address two critical components of the process:

 It will require by ordinance that developers adhere to the best practices guidelines in the Neighborhood Meeting Guide, which went into effect last Nov. 1

 It will give City staff more authority to require developers to redo a neighborhood meeting if staff determines that the developer did not meet best practice requirements in the Neighborhood Meeting Guide.

 Click here for the staff  report explaining the neighborhood meeting UDO amendments, which also includes links to the actual ordinance text language and a link to the Neighborhood Meeting Guide

Housing First approach to homelessness

The City of Asheville invites you to join a community learning opportunity on the Housing First approach to homelessness.  

Presenter: Josh Johnson, Senior Technical Assistance Specialist with the National Alliance to End Homelessness spent months in the Asheville-Buncombe community completing a needs assessment and developing a set of strategies and recommendations to decrease unsheltered homelessness.  Josh will be offering two virtual sessions on Housing First.  Participants are welcome to attend either but encouraged to choose the most relevant option for their role:

April 25, 2023 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Homeless Service Providers

April 27, 2023 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. - General Public

Registration is available here.  Please reach out to Debbie Alford with any questions: dalford2@ashevillenc.gov.


SAVE THE DATE! October 4th - 8th 2023 - Help Rebuild this Childrens' Park

Pickens Park (formerly Jones Park) construction is set for October 4-8. Location is North Asheville adjacent to Ira B. Jones Elementary School, Ira B. Jones School Road.

CAN’s endorsement of this project helped make it possible to rebuild a valuable community asset. 

Children from all over Asheville lost a popular playground in September, 2021, but community support and hours of hard work has made it possible to replace the loss.  This will be an all-volunteer project, and to help you in your planning, here’s the link to sign up:  Sign Up Here

The months of planning and navigating government bureaucracies are about to pay off!  Thank you all especially David Rodgers who has worked tirelessly pulling this project together.


Plastic Yard Waste Bag Ban

 On Jan 10, 2023, City Council adopted a revision to City Code Chpt 15, which bans the use of plastic leaf bags.This will go into effect Aug. 1, 2023.

 Visit ashevillenc.gov/brush for information about brush collection without plastic bags, including where to find biodegradable bags

 The plastic yard and leaf bag ban is the first phase of a more comprehensive approach to curb single-use plastic waste.

 Your Voice is Important

Phase 2 is the collection of feedback from the community, specifically residents and business owners, which will then inform staff's recommendation on next steps to curb single-use plastic waste. 

The City would like your feedback. Community members are invited to take this short survey to help inform next steps and recommended actions.

The Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods encourages its neighborhood association members to take the survey, which is available in Spanish, Ukrainian nd Russian. The survey will close on Sunday, April 30 at 11:59 pm. Please take some time to fill out the survey, which can be found at:


 Items currently under consideration are single-use plastic bags at the point of sale (i.e. at the register at check out) and expanded polystyrene [StyrofoamTM] disposable foodware containers (i.e. cups and containers used for to-go items from restaurants and hot bars).

 Staff will analyze research data alongside internal and external engagement findings to develop a recommendation to the City Council in the Fall of 2023.

 Full information about this initiative can be found at:

 Single-Use Plastic Reduction Project Page 


Asheville Hires an Urban Forester

Exciting news March 2023, the City of Asheville has created a permanent new position of Urban Forester and has now filled the position. Read about Keith Aitken in the Asheville Citizen-Times article published last Friday:


This hiring is the culmination of at least six years of hard work and dogged determination by hundreds of Asheville citizens (many of you are among them), the Urban Forestry Commission, the Tree Protection Task Force, Asheville GreenWorks and other supporting partners, including, but not least of all, the Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods.

As a member of the Urban Forestry Commission, the Tree Protection Task Force, and a firm supporter of Asheville GreenWorks, I personally want to thank you for your consistent and dedicated support in the effort to get the funding for an Urban Forester.

This is but another example of the power of CAN's influence in matters aimed at making Asheville a stronger and more viable city.

Patrick Gilbert,

Vice President - Government Relations


What would you like the City of Asheville to invest in during the 2023/24 Budget?  Your voice is needed.

The City of Asheville would like to encourage as many residents as possible to get involved in this year's budget process and would love to have your help getting the word out! 

 The 2023-2024 budget priorities survey is open through March 3. The survey is available in English, Spanish, Ukrainian and Russian.  

City Council will hold a budget public comment session at their February 28 meeting.


2022 Vote is IN (mostly)! 

The Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods is a strong supporter of the community engagement in government.  We facilitated a forum for local candiates and connected to other community meetings to prepare everyone to vote.  Here is what we did!  Ready the VOTE!


Rebuilding Jones Park APPROVED! 

The Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods is a strong supporter of the community effort to rebuild a beloved park. We are pleased that the school board, county and city finally did the right thing and committed to rebuild the park and maintain it!


Homelessness in Asheville and Buncombe County: 

At the August 24, 2022 General Membership Meeting Emily Ball Homeless Strategy Division Manager City of Asheville spoke for an hour and answered questions from the attendees for another 30 minutes.  If you missed it, please see the following documents, minutes and video recording:  

Homelessness Planning2022 Homeless CountVideo of MeetingQuestions AnsweredMeeting Minutes


Do you need help getting your Neighborhood going or would you like to reinvigorate your Neighborhood?

Check out these Ideas


Boards and Commissions Restructuring - CAN Advocates for New Approach

The CAN Board of Directors, representing some 15 city neighborhoods, approved the creation of CAN's position demanding the current plan be changed: CAN Position. Tell City Council to listend to CAN and other organizations opposed to the existing plan.  Read and sign this Google Form: Oppose Current Plan.


Open Space Amendment - CAN seeks change

After due diligence and intense discussion, the CAN Board of Directors, representing some 15 city neighborhoods, voted to oppose the Open space amendment as it is currently proposed. Learn more...


Urban Forester - CAN advocates for city budget

After short discussion, the CAN Board of Directors, representing some 15 city neighborhoods, voted to encourage city council to demand the inclusion of an Urban Forester in the 2022-2023 Budget. See our letter...




Have your voice heard by registering.

Click here to Register now and start the path to more transparency, better organization, and support from CAN's registered neighborhoods!



If you would like to support the work of CAN, please make your check payable to:

Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods 

Post Office Box 1858,

Asheville NC 28802

Should any issues arise during your donation process you can reach out to us by sending an email to info@asheville-can.org.

Thank you so much for your support!!!