Plans for expanding the Jewish Community Center in its long-time location at 236 Charlotte St. got the nod from Asheville City Council on March 28.
The JCC is already building a new pool facility and associated parking at 40 Clyde St., about 600 feet away from the pool’s current location. That project didn’t require Council’s attention, explained city planner Jessica Bernstein, since it was approved as a Level II project under the zoning code.
Lael Gray, the executive director for the JCC, told Council the new pool will have a retractable cover so it can be used year-round. The facility will be open by Memorial Day, Gray said. It will serve as the home pool for the Asheville High School swim team, she added.
On the site of the old pool, the JCC will build a 7,588-square-foot childcare facility and reception area to connect the new building with the existing community center. Each classroom in the childcare center will feature direct access to the outdoors, said Dorothea Schulz of the architecture firm Clark Nexsen.
Chris Day of Civil Design Concepts responded to questions about the exceptions to current zoning regulations requested by the JCC in connection with the project. Day said the JCC had occupied the site for the last 75 years.
Some of the need for the exceptions, Bernstein said, resulted from the Charlotte Street Overlay District requirements, which were implemented after the current facility was built. The exceptions include parking, sidewalks, landscaping, setbacks and architectural design requirements.
Two zoning requests — a reduction in the amount of windows from 40 to 20 percent of the building’s facade and changing the driveway on Hillside Street to a two-way entrance — were driven by security concerns, Day said. The JCC, like other jewish community centers around the country, has recently received bomb threats.
Council unanimously approved the JCC’s conditional zoning request.
More on Asheville City Council’s March 28 meeting:
- Di-vision? City Council to hear report on Haywood Street property on March 28
- Council vote could mark new phase in struggle over ‘Pit of Despair’
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