On Tuesday, Dec. 9, Asheville City Council will wrangle with an agenda that’s packed with controversial housing and development issues.
In a move that could have longterm consequences, Council will consider amending the city’s development ordinance to allow higher density residential growth in almost every commercially zoned area of the city.
The changes would also incentivize developers to offer more affordable units by proportionally tying density increases to how much affordable housing is included. Council members such as Gordon Smith hope the changes will drastically increase affordable housing options within the next five years. If just 10 percent of eligible vacant land were developed at the proposed maximum density levels, more than 2,300 multifamily units would be built (more than 460 of them at affordable rent levels), according to a city report.
Meanwhile, Council will consider three specific housing proposals, all of which are drawing intense opposition from neighborhood groups:
• Developers are asking Council for a zoning change to build a 300-plus unit apartment complex and retail space on Fairview Road near Biltmore Village.
• Developers are asking Council for a zoning change to build a 254 multi-family units in the Biltmore area off of Thompson Street.
• Developers are asking Council for a zoning change to build 104 apartments on 6.5 acres in West Asheville along Hazel Mill Road.
Council will hold public hearings on all of the proposals before voting. The meeting begins at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 9, in room 209 of City Hall.