The online platform offers the public
more ways to weigh in on Asheville projects and issues
Today, the City of Asheville is pleased to announce the launch of Open City Hall, an online platform designed to engage citizens in conversations about important Asheville projects and issues.
The first topic on Asheville’s Open City Hall is a survey about whether accessory dwelling units (ADUs, also known as garage apartments or granny cottages) should allowed to be used as homestays and what impacts on neighborhoods that might have. Participants can read background information in an introduction and then take a brief survey.
City staff will use that public input, in addition to other traditional means, to help guide the decision-making process. Further, the City of Asheville aims to engage citizens by providing them information on each issue to enrich online comments and to provide more opportunities for citizen interaction and engagement.
“This tool gives residents the opportunity to participate in the decisions that shape our community from the privacy and convenience of their own home,” said Dawa Hitch, Director of Communications and Public Engagement (CAPE). “We want the public to be part of the process and they’re online.”
Registration is quick and easy, though not required to participate. “We encourage participants to register as the information really helps us identify where comments are coming from,” said Polly McDaniel, Communications Specialist, the primary liaison for Open City Hall. “With registration we can sort input from Asheville residents vs. input from someone who doesn’t even live in North Carolina, for example.”
Other topics under consideration for future use on Open City Hall include the City’s upcoming comprehensive plan update and the future of the Haywood Street and Page Avenue properties. The City plans to stagger roll-out of topics, rather than post a lot of them all at once.
The url address for Asheville’s Open City Hall is ashevillenc.gov/OpenCityHall.
About Peak Democracy
Peak Democracy, a non-partisan company based in California, developed the online platform. Its mission is to broaden civic engagement and build public trust in government. More than 100 other government agencies in the US, Canada and Australia are using Open Town Hall including Ashland, Ore.; Arlington County, VA; Palo Alto, CA; Saint Paul, MN; and Salt Lake City, UT. For more information about the company, visit www.peakdemocracy.com.
For more information, contact Communication Specialist Polly McDaniel at PMcDaniel@ashevillenc.gov or 828-232-4507.