By Dave Russell


Ordinance revisions have been the topic of several Sylva Town Board meetings as of late.

A review of the town’s zoning ordinance went out for bids in the summer of 2020, with Withers-Ravenel, a civil and environmental engineering firm serving Asheville and other North Carolina municipalities, getting the contract.

The full rewrite documents are on the town website,, and the changes are under review.

“(Jackson County Senior Planner) John Jeleniewski and I are still reviewing it and having weekly meetings with the people from Withers-Ravenel,” town Manager Paige Dowling said. “We’re reviewing a chapter a week.”

The Planning Board would finish its review at its November meeting.

The town would then advertise the zoning maps and proposed changes, she said.

“Then the town board would have the rest of November and December to review it, and then we are going to have a public hearing on it the first meeting in January, and it will probably be the first meeting in February when the board adopts it,” Dowling said.


Parking ordinance changes

A few weeks after releasing an updated downtown parking map, the town voted last Thursday to adopt some minor changes to existing ordinances.

“The only thing that is new is we added that lot that the town rents from First Baptist Church, next to Southern & Sunkissed, to the area for merchants and employees to park,” Dowling said.

The lot that once held the Ritz Theater is now officially open for business owners and employee parking, she said.

“Our ordinance said that was restricted for public parking and not for business owners or employees,” Dowling said.

For several years, employees have been allowed to park in the Ritz lot even though it had not been changed in the ordinance.

Another change to the ordinance concerned the town’s two electric car charger pedestals and four charging cords in the Bridge Park lot along Railroad Avenue. EV owners can no longer park their vehicles in those spaces unless they are charging them.

The town’s parking ordinance allows residents, business owners and employees to park anywhere between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday and all day Sunday. During the 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. hours, locals must park in designated lots to leave downtown parking spaces for visitors.