City to Coleman: Tavern plan voids Parkside application

In August, developer Stewart Coleman added a new twist to the Parkside Condominium controversy by announcing that he will build a tavern and restaurant in the Hayes and Hopson building rather than tear it down to make way for the seven-story condo adjacent to Pack Square Park.

At that time, Coleman told Xpress that he was keeping his options open and might return to the condominium idea if he is successful in an ongoing appeal of a lawsuit surrounding public parkland sold to him by Buncombe County.

“Parkside is on hold for the time being, but that doesn’t mean it’s dead,” he said.

But an Aug. 12 letter to Coleman from Planning and Development Assistant Director Shannon Tuch informs Coleman that his successful application for the Pack Tavern project voids the standing level II Parkside project.

“It is the city’s normal practice to to review one application at a time per parcel.” the letter reads.  “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 will have to withdraw the tavern plan in order to resubmit any application for new construction on the property. The letter goes on to say that such an application will have to conform to any 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.

The entire text of the letter is below.

— Brian Postelle, staff writer

August 12, 2009

Mr. Stuart B. Coleman
SB Coleman Construction Co. LLC.
P.O. Box 1636
Asheville, NC 28802

RE:  Project Processing
BP# 08-3024 (Parkside Condos) & BP #09-3859 (Restaurant Upfit)

Dear Mr. Coleman,

On August 4, 2009 we received your Level I application for a restaurant upfit of the Hayes & Hopson building (BP#09-3859).  As you are aware, your previous Level II project for the Parkside Condominiums was conditionally approved in July 2008 and, as stated in our previous letter dated June 12, 2009, your conditional approval stands as long as the ordinance(s) under which the project was approved remain in effect.  While no ordinance changes have occurred to date, it is the City’s normal practice to review one application at a time per parcel.  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. 

Should you wish to keep the Level II conditional approval active, it will require the withdrawal of the current Level I project.  Additionally, since the final approval for the Level II project has not been obtained, the conditions of your approval must be satisfied prior to the adoption of the any UDO changes anticipated as part of the implementation of the Downtown Master Plan.  These changes are anticipated to be considered in the late fall/early winter of 2009/2010.  If keeping the Level II project active is to be your preference, we ask that you notify our office by August 12, 2009 so that we may make the necessary adjustments. 

Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any further assistance.


Shannon Tuch, RLA
Assistant Director, Planning and Development

Cc:  Project File
City Attorney



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16 thoughts on “City to Coleman: Tavern plan voids Parkside application

  1. tatuaje


    Sweet, sweet justice.

    Now if everyone will join in on a permanent boycott of his bar this greedy so-and-so can reap his just desserts.

    *pumps fist in the air*

  2. Sue Hird

    Mr. Coleman thinks he can always get what he wants. Hope the building stays empty and he has to go by it daily to see what being dishonest has to offer. Way to go city.

  3. LOKEL

    How EXACTLY was Mr Coleman dishonest in his purchase of land that was POSTED for SALE!!!!

    Remember the Judge has yet to rule on the appeal.

  4. Jeff

    LOKEL, you apparently didn’t read the article. There’s no need to wait for a possible overturn of the original court case.

    I’ll short hand it for you: Mr. Coleman has sought for and received approval of an alternate use of the Hayes and Hobson building. This action negates his previous approval for condo development.

    If there are any other news items I can read for you and help explain just let me know.

  5. JWTJr

    Everyone in that deal knew the ‘no sale’ clause that was on that deed and went forward with the deal anyhow. Coleman and the council. That’s the dishonesty.

  6. James L

    Yes, this is all well and good, but where is the complete news story? It’s hardly a news piece to report a letter was sent a month ago. What was the result? What’s going on? Has the former project app been cancelled, or has it been retained, thus stalling the new plan. What was Coleman’s reaction or response? Is there no effort going into what’s printed in this publication. Is this news or not? Is even the slightest investigative journalism the responsibility of the public now? I don’t mean to be harsh, but c’mon.

  7. That would be Coleman and the County Commissioners, not the City Council.

    Note that while this eliminates Coleman’s Parkside project, it doesn’t (and can’t) resolve his claim of ownership of the magnolia tree and the small parcel of land around it. That is still pending in court.

    If the court voids the sale, the land will return to County ownership. If it does not, Coleman would still be able to advance some other plan for construction on the site. Presumably he wouldn’t tear down the Hayes & Hopson after his upfit for a bar, but he could design a smaller building for the land he would then own.

    The City and County legislators should be prepared to reclaim the land via eminent domain if the court rules in Coleman’s favor. Interestingly, he bought it at a high point in the real estate boom and would have to sell it back to the government at current value … which is lower.

  8. Jon Elliston

    James L: We’ll have a story with more detail in our next issue.

    Jon Elliston
    Managing Editor

  9. Katy

    I find the city at fault here. They sold the land to begin with. Mr. Coleman was just doing what he wanted to with the land. The city is now under fire and trying to save the butts.

  10. Katy, the problem with your theory is that the city didn’t sell land to Coleman. The County Commissioners sold county land to Coleman. The City had nothing to do with it.

  11. Property Values

    Bothwell says ” . . .interestingly, he bought it at a high point in the real estate boom and would have to sell it back to the government at current value … which is lower.”

    But the county has declined to do property revaluations, so they and the city can continue to tax our homes at the inflated values of the real estate bubble.

    Will Bothwell remedy this situation when he’s on city council?

  12. Prop Val: Council has no authority over revals which are dictatd by the County Commission as regulated by state law.

    Your point is well-taken, however, and I think it is clearly wrong for taxing authorities to game the market. Revals should be done on a regular basis, regardless of fluctuations in the economy.

  13. Property Values

    Thank you to Cecil Bothwell. I hope when you’re on city council you will use your influence with county commissioners to remedy this problem.

  14. mike

    We certainly would not want a business creating jobs and adding tax revenue to the City coffers in these despArate economic times.

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