A proposed development at 130 Charlotte St. is one step away from approval as the project appears before members of Asheville City Council during their meeting of Tuesday, Oct. 12.
Council will consider a conditional rezoning of the 2.34-acre property — the former location of Fuddruckers, a burger restaurant that closed in March 2020 — from Community Business District to Commercial Expansion to accommodate the 186-unit project. Members will also hold a public hearing to consider a land use incentive grant for Kassinger Development Group, the project’s developer, to include affordable housing.
According to a staff report available before the meeting, 37 of the rental apartments would be deed-restricted for 30 years under the terms of the grant and made available to families earning at or below 80% of the area median income ($60,100 for a family of four). Half of those units would also accept federal housing vouchers and rental assistance for individuals and families at or below 60% AMI. In exchange, the developers would receive annual rebates of city property taxes on the value of the project for 16 years, a total estimated value of over $1.5 million.
The development would also include roughly 4,500 square feet of commercial and retail space, with roughly 230 parking spaces in an underground garage and six parking spaces on East Chestnut Street. While the number of residential units is slightly higher than that of a previous plan for the site in 2018, which drew criticism from the nearby Grove Park/Sunset Mountain community over traffic and neighborhood character concerns, its parking and commercial elements have been scaled back from 327 spaces and 16,000 square feet, respectively. Asheville’s Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously in favor of the conditional zoning Sept. 1.
In other news
Council will also hear a six-month update from the Asheville City Schools Foundation on its use of nearly $475,000 in donated city funds. The money came from the unclaimed portion of a funding pool the city had set aside to settle claims from a class-action lawsuit regarding water system capital fees.
According to a presentation available before the meeting, the money is being used to provide tuition and support to 10 Black educators as they complete degrees in higher education and to fund a scholarship program for Black graduates pursuing careers in education, among other investments.
City Manager Debra Campbell will also provide an update on the city’s reparations program. No further information was linked to the agenda as of press time.
Transit spending increase and public comment
The consent agenda for the meeting contains 11 items, including five items from the Sept. 28 meeting that were not approved in open session due to technical difficulties with the remote meeting, which will be approved as a package unless singled out for separate discussion. Highlights include the following:
- A resolution authorizing Campbell to apply for the N.C. Department of Transportation Apprenticeship Grant Program for Public Transit, which places recent university graduates within a city/transit agency for one year as full-time, paid staff members. If approved, NCDOT would provides roughly $45,000 toward salary and benefits for the apprentice; the city would be responsible for roughly $5,000 in costs.
- A budget amendment to allocate a $5,000 donation from Oasis Recovery Center and Asheville Recovery Center for the installation of a bus shelter at Merrimon Avenue and Durwood Drive. A previous shelter at the site was destroyed by a vehicle crash about a year ago.
- A resolution authorizing Campbell to amend an existing contract with Asheville Transit Management to operate the city’s bus system. The contract amount for fiscal year 2021-22 will be raised by $175,000 to reflect higher service costs; the bump represents an approximately 2% increase over last year’s contract of about $8.98 million.
Members of the public who wish to speak during the meeting must sign up in advance online or call 828-259-5900 no later than 9 a.m. Oct. 12. City staff will use the list of registered speakers to manage the speaker queue during the meeting. Speakers will need to listen to the meeting via phone by calling 855-925-2801, meeting code 5285.
Prerecorded voicemail messages can also be left at 855-925-2801, meeting code 5285; written comments can be sent to AshevilleCityCouncilOct122021@publicinput.com. Emails will be accepted for 24 hours after each public hearing.
The full meeting agenda and supporting documents can be found here.