City tells Coleman that Parkside plan is off the table

An Aug. 12 letter from the City of Asheville's Planning and Development Department to developer Stewart Coleman indicates that his application on file for the seven-story Parkside Condominium project was canceled by his plans for a new tavern.

Earlier that month, Coleman had thrown a new twist into the contentious two-year-old Parkside story by announcing that he was planning to open a bar and restaurant in the Hayes & Hopson building. That building was once slated for demolition to make way for the Parkside condominium project, which would also have occupied some Pack Square park property next to Asheville City Hall that Coleman purchased from Buncombe County.

Although Opponents of Parkside welcomed the news that Hayes & Hopson was going to be repurposed as a place for beer and bites, Coleman told Xpress at the time that "Parkside is on hold for the time being, but that doesn't mean it's dead."

But the city's letter says that the Level I application for the restaurant voids the earlier application for the Level II Parkside project.

"It is the City's normal practice to review one application at a time per parcel," reads the letter from Assistant Planning and Development Director Shannon Tuch. "As a result, your recent Level I project will supplant the former Level II project which will be voided from the City's permit system and records,"

According to the letter, Coleman would have to to withdraw the tavern plan in order to keep alive the city's approval for Parkside's construction, or submit a new application, which as of press time, Coleman has not done. In fact, construction at the Hayes & Hopson building continues. Coleman did not return calls for comment.

The letter goes on to say that any future construction applications will have to conform to changes in the Unified Development Ordinance resulting from the adoption of any elements of the Downtown Master Plan. Asheville City Council is slated to begin making those changes this fall.

Meanwhile, there is still no word on Coleman's appeal of a Sept. 2008 ruling that the piece of property he purchased from Buncombe County be preserved for public use. And after tabling Coleman's request for an easement that would allow a new access road to service the front of Parkside, Asheville City Council has yet to revisit the issue.

See the entire letter from the Asheville Planning and Development Department to Coleman at www.mountainx.com/xpressfiles.

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2 thoughts on “City tells Coleman that Parkside plan is off the table

  1. James L

    Aw geesh, could the story at least do any investigation at all into the current status. More than a month and a half since the letter was issued and all that’s being reported in two stories about it is what’s in the letter. You can’t even get anyone at the city to provide comment on it, or confirm any assumption which the letter creates? I think everyone is entitled to a public record from the city. Readers expect just a little bit more than that from people hoping to call themselves the media or a news agency. What a huge waste of ink.

  2. Brian Postelle

    James L.:

    From a statement from the city’s Planning and Development Dept. director to Xpress:

    “When the permits were issued for the Tavern, it voided the approvals for Parkside. I have heard nothing about any new application, and to the best of my knowledge they still appear to be working on the building.”

    Pack’s Tavern, while not responding to calls in time for the publication of this story, has begun a Twitter campaign updating their progress towards becoming a full-fledged bar, and has since contacted Xpress.

    The link at the end of the story takes you to the full letter from the Planning and Development Dept. which is, in fact, “a public record from the city.”

    -Brian Postelle

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