Development roundup: Airport expansion up for county approval

Asheville Regional Airport terminal expansion rendering
PREPARING FOR TAKEOFF: A proposed terminal expansion at the Asheville Regional Airport would involve eight phases of work and run through April 2026. Rendering courtesy of Buncombe County

City of Asheville

The public will be able to provide input on two developments and a rezoning proposal at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 4, which will take place in person at City Hall’s first-floor North Conference Room at 70 Court Plaza. The Design Review Committee will meet virtually 12:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19; the agenda for that meeting was not available as of press time.

Planning and Zoning Commission

Members of the public can submit comments over email and voicemail until 24 hours prior to the meeting or provide in-person comment during the meeting itself. Instructions on how to attend and comment are available at avl.mx/8b6.

Proposed Rezoning (285 Livingston Avenue and 415 S. French Broad Avenue, 28801)

The city’s Planning and Urban Design Department (PUD) proposes to update the open space requirements in the city’s Unified Development Ordinance for two city-owned parcels located at 285 Livingston Ave., which includes the Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Community Center, and 415 S. French Broad Ave, where Fire Station no. 2 is located.

Currently, this land is zoned as River Arts District-Open Space/Public Facilities; the proposal would return the parcels to their prior zoning of Residential Multifamily, Medium Density. The recommendations come from the city’s Open Space Task Force, created in February 2021 to promote access to open space, mitigate flooding and erosion through improved stormwater management and increase housing by removing regulations on infill housing. (Infill housing refers to new construction or changes to existing property in urban areas that are either vacant or used for another purpose.)

Todd Okolichany, the city’s PUD director, tells Xpress, “The intent of this change is to better preserve open space along the French Broad River, which includes a majority of RAD-OSP zoned property. However, we don’t want to restrict the proposed improvements to the Grant Center, including the new pool, or any future potential enhancements to Fire Station 2; hence the proposed rezoning from RAD-OSP to RM-8.”

Rezoning these areas requires overriding city Resolution 20-184, which suspended the rezoning or sale of any city property acquired by urban renewal.

A city staff presentation to City Council’s Planning & Economic Development Committee can be found here. The staff report can be found here.

Ingles #122 Patton Avenue (1001 Patton Avenue, 28806)

This project was on the agenda for April 6 but postponed to the May hearing. Ingles Markets is requesting a zoning change from Highway Business to Commercial Expansion – Conditional Zone to redevelop a 14.45-acre site at the intersection of Patton and Louisiana Avenue with a new store, a gas station and additional retail space. Application materials, including site plans and a traffic study, are available at avl.mx/bf1.

Redwood Commons (21 Governors View Road, Asheville, 28805)

Buckeye Community Hope Foundation, a Columbus, Ohio-based developer, is seeking to erect a 18,500-square-foot apartment building containing 70 one- and two-bedroom units for affordable senior living near the Swannanoa River.

Documents for the proposal can be viewed at avl.mx/baj.

Buncombe County

Three projects requiring special use permits and a zoning variance will be on the agenda for the Buncombe County Board of Adjustment meeting at noon Wednesday, May 11. One of these, the Hawthorne at Holbrook project, was continued from the April 13 meeting.

Information on how to attend the meeting and apply for comment can be found at avl.mx/anq.

ArtSpace Charter School Expansion (2030 US Highway 70, Swannanoa, 28778)

ArtSpace Charter School, a K-8 charter school with a visual and performing arts approach to education, requests a special use permit to build a two-story, 11,884-square-foot classroom building on 3.2 acres. Staff notes indicate that the privacy fence on the current plans does not reach the 8-foot minimum requirement. Additionally, the N.C. Department of Transportation recommends removing a crosswalk planned for the southwestern end of the building in favor of widening a crosswalk planned at the northwestern end.

Detailed project documents are available at avl.mx/bif.

Asheville Airport Terminal Expansion (61 Terminal Drive, Fletcher, 28732)

The Greater Asheville Airport Regional Authority is requesting a special use permit to expand and modernize the Asheville Regional Airport terminal. Architectural firm Gresham Smith plans to add a new level to the existing building, expand the ticketing area and increase the number of gates to 12. The building’s footprint will increase from roughly 113,000 square feet to 255,765 square feet, with an additional 24,235 square feet for a new, separate central energy plant.

Construction firm Hensel Phelps currently estimates that the project will be completed by spring 2026. Work will proceed in eight separate phases to allow for continued use of the airport during expansion.

Detailed project documents are available at avl.mx/big.

Hawthorne at Holbrook (36 Crowell Road, Asheville, 28806)

Greensboro-based Cromwell Farms Holdings seeks to build a 299-unit multi-family complex on 31.8 vacant acres in Asheville near Candler. The current plan has 11 buildings listed, including a clubhouse, two garages, poolhouse, dog run and outdoor pavilion. The apartment and townhome buildings will be three stories each, with a maximum height of 60 feet.

Detailed project documents are available at avl.mx/bem.

Schlom Variance (26 Hopedale Circle, Asheville, 28806)

Skyland realtor Barry Bialik of Dirt and Sticks. seeks a variance to reduce the required setbacks on a 0.13 acre parcel of land in West Asheville. When the original home was built, this part of Buncombe County fell under Asheville’s zoning ordinances, but when the state legislature removed the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction over the area in 2013, the property became regulated by the county.

The home was subsequently destroyed in a storm. Bialik maintains that a new home cannot be built under the current county standards for R-3 zoning, which require 20 feet of setback from property lines. The owner therefore requests that the northern property line setback be reduced to 15 feet 5 inches and the western setbacks reduced to no more than 12 feet 5 inches.

Detailed project documents are available at avl.mx/bih.

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About Sara Murphy
Sara Murphy is a freelance writer living in Leicester. Her work has appeared in 100 Days in Appalachia, Facing South, Polygon, and Lifehacker.

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