After a second visit by developers Global Development Resources and their attorney Craig Justus, yesterday Asheville City Council gave the nod to a 132-unit gated development at the historic Thoms Estate in Beaverdam. In return, the developers said the gates would close only at night, and that there would be pedestrian access to the neighborhood for area residents.
When the issue first came up in February, the gates caused Council to pause and continue the issue for another meeting, though there was no ordinance regulating gated communities on the books. Then, in March, Council voted for a resolution asking the Planning and Zoning Commission to draft new anti-gate codes in the revamped subdivision rules, but P&Z has not yet settled that matter.
In addition, Global’s CEO, Kent Smith, had previously told Council that, if denied the necessary conditional-use permit to construct the clustered-style dwellings on the property, he could go ahead with a sprawling, traditional-style subdivision there.
So that left a Council that still (for the most part) doesn’t care for gates, but had no real legal reason to deny them, and the development passed 4-3. Yes votes: Brownie Newman, Jan Davis, Robin Cape and Carl Mumpower. No votes: Mayor Terry Bellamy, Vice Mayor Holly Jones and Bryan Freeborn. For further coverage, check out the April 18 issue of Xpress.
— Brian Postelle, staff writer