255-unit apartment complex, 54-home subdivision on BOA agenda

A proposed project in the Riceville area would build 54 homes and have space for agriculture projects. The development would be on 39.3 acres of land at 2250 Riceville Road.
A proposed project in the Riceville area would build 54 homes and have space for agriculture projects. The development would be on 39.3 acres of land at 2250 Riceville Road. Graphic courtesy of Buncombe County

The Buncombe County Board of Adjustment will consider eight applications when it meets on Wednesday, May 10. Two of those items would bring more than 300 new housing units to the county. The first, a mixed-use development, would build 54 homes in the Riceville area, and the second would construct 255 apartments off Brevard Road in Arden.

Both projects require a conditional use permit because they are Planned Use Developments, Level I. Buncombe County’s Planning Ordinance defines PUD, Level I as:

Planned unit development, level I (PUDI) means more than four (4) principal buildings or uses on a single lot; any principal building with a gross floor area of 25,000 square feet or more; any residential complex of more than eight (8) units; or a subdivision of more than ten (10) lots where building envelopes are defined, areas are set aside for open space and/or amenities, and a decrease in minimum lot size and/or interior setbacks is desired. A PUDI may be comprised of residential uses; a mix of residential and nonresidential uses; or the following nonresidential uses: health care facilities; private or public utility stations and substations, pumping stations, water and sewer plants, water storage tanks; recreation uses; schools; and vacation rental complexes and shall not include places of worship.

The mixed-use project comes from David Case of Case Enterprises. His firm developed the controversial Sovereign Oaks on the Old Coggins Farm property near Warren Wilson College. This proposed development is located on almost 40 acres at 2250 Riceville Road, just east of the Blue Ridge Parkway. According to county documents, Case is asking permission to build “54 single-family homes, a community center, an agricultural goods market and the reservation of open space areas for farming [and] agricultural uses.”

County Planner Debbie Trumpie told Xpress the Case project is asking for a decrease in minimum lot size and interior setbacks.

According to the Zoning Ordinance, a PUD can have the “normal minimum lot size and requirements for interior setbacks” waived so long as it meets requirements concerning: height limitations; distance between buildings; privacy (visual and acoustic); setbacks for homes on the perimeter of the development; parking; conveyance and maintenance of open space, recreational areas and/or communally owned facilities.”

In fact, the Board of Adjustment approved a similar conditional use permit request last year for the County Walk project, located at 223 Williams Road in Fletcher.

Above shows where the Villas at Avery Creek is proposing to build 255 units at 1864 Brevard Road. Graphic courtesy of Buncombe County
Above shows where the Villas at Avery Creek is proposing to build 255 units at 1864 Brevard Road. Graphic courtesy of Buncombe County

Meantime, the apartment complex boom looks to continue. The Villas at Avery Creek, LLC has applied for a conditional use permit to develop 15 acres of land off Brevard Road, just north of Long Shoals Road, in Arden. The proposed apartment complex would have 255 units, a clubhouse and other amenities.

Trumpie says The Villas at Avery Creek, “Is more than four principal buildings on a single lot, and more than eight residential units.” However, the density requirements can be waived by the Board of Adjustment if the project meets “sustainable development elements and/or the provision of community amenities,” according to the Zoning Ordinance.

You can view the entire agenda here. The Board of Adjustment meets at noon on Wednesday, May 10 at 30 Valley St.

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About Dan Hesse
I grew up outside of Atlanta and moved to WNC in 2001 to attend Montreat College. After college, I worked at NewsRadio 570 WWNC as an anchor/reporter and covered Asheville City Council and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners starting in 2004. During that time I also completed WCU's Master of Public Administration program. You can reach me at dhesse@mountainx.com.

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3 thoughts on “255-unit apartment complex, 54-home subdivision on BOA agenda

  1. MichaelB

    Pretty much a flood plain as well. (not an alternative fact) ;-)

    • bsummers

      True that. From the County’s GIS map, it looks like close to a third of that Riceville property is officially designated floodplain.

      https://ibb.co/cVEqLk

      Doesn’t that trigger a separate application with the County, which is supposed to closely regulate any such development?

  2. Phil Williams

    I understand folks wanting to move here, but wonder how much more building of this type the area can really sustain? Water, sewer, traffic congestion, pollution – all should be considered closely. Newcomers seem to think that those who already live here (some of us have been here for generations) want to “shut the door behind us” and not let anyone else share the great things about WNC in general and Asheville in particular. It seems that, with so many trying to get in, they are radically changing or even destroying the very things they admired in the first place. And the leadership seems to only be thinking of tax base and tourism dollars. There has to be some kind of saturation point – which, I am afraid, is going to be reached sooner than later.

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