Development roundup: New housing proposed for Elk Mountain ridgeline in Woodfin

Robinhood Residential site pan
HOOD IN THE WOODS: Atlanta-based HS Robinhood Owner LLC seeks to construct seven buildings containing up to 110 multifamily units, as well as five single-family homes, across 17 acres on the Elk Mountain ridgeline. Graphic courtesy of the town of Woodfin

Six years after a 196-unit development on the Elk Mountain ridgeline in Woodfin was abandoned following public dissent, a new project on the same site will likely come before the Woodfin planning board Tuesday, Oct. 4.

Atlanta-based HS Robinhood Owner LLC seeks to construct seven buildings containing up to 110 multifamily units, as well as five single-family homes, across 17 acres on the Asheville-facing side of the ridgeline. None would be designated as affordable housing, and the units could be used as short-term rentals.

On Aug. 30, the Citizens for Responsible Land Use, a neighborhood organization that had formed in 2016 to oppose the previously proposed development, held a meeting about the new plan at the Country Club of Asheville. CRLU Secretary Ben Irvin tells Xpress that approximately 100 people attended in person, with another 72 attending online.

The CRLU’s mission, according to its website, is to prevent or mitigate steep slope development. According to design plans for the new project — to be known as Robinhood Residential — submitted by Asheville firm Civil Design Concepts, the average slope of the site is 43.12%.

Buncombe County’s steep slope ordinance places development restrictions on land at elevations of at least 2,500 feet with a slope of 35% or greater, but only in unincorporated areas. Woodfin did not have such an ordinance in place at the time HS Robinhood Owner submitted its plans. (The town adopted steep slope regulations stronger than those of county in June.)

According to Irvin, the CRLU will await the outcome of the Oct. 4 planning board meeting before deciding its next steps.

The CRLU presentation slides can be accessed at The Robinhood Residential site plan is available at

City of Asheville

The public will be able to provide input on two conditional rezonings and one zoning amendment at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7, which will take place in person at City Hall’s first-floor North Conference Room at 70 Court Plaza. A pre-meeting of the same body to review the agenda, which is open to the public but does not allow public comment, will be held at 4:30 p.m. in the fifth-floor Large Conference Room.

The Design Review Committee will meet virtually at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, with a pre-meeting held at 12:15 p.m. the same day. The agenda for that meeting was not available as of press time.

Planning and Zoning Commission

Residents 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, as well as the full meeting agenda, are available at

All three of the agenda items have been continued from the Aug. 3 meeting. More details are available from last month’s Xpress development roundup ( or at the following project pages:

  • Enka Commerce Park (264 Enka Heritage Parkway, 28715)
  • Laurel Woods II (650 & 652 Caribou Rd., 28803) –
  • Woodland Development (100 Woodland Dr., 28806) –

Buncombe County

Three projects requiring a special use permit, one revised special use permit and three variance requests will be on the agenda at the Buncombe County Board of Adjustment meeting, taking place 12 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10. The in-person meeting will be held at the Board of Commissioners Chambers, 200 College Street.

Information on how to attend and apply for comment can be found at No email or voicemail comments will be accepted.

Two of the special use permit applications have been continued from the July and August meetings. More details are available from Xpress development roundups at (July) and (August) or at the following project pages:

  • From July: Carolina Ready Mix & Builders Supply SUP (1186 Smokey Park Highway, Lower Hominy Township, 28715)
  • From August: Pinnacle View Rental Units SUP (17, 21 and unaddressed parcel on Pinnacle View Rd., Asheville, 28803) —

Asheville West Subdivision Phase II SUP Revision (99999 Torch Light Way, Lower Hominy Township, Asheville, 28806)

Asheville West LLC requests a revision to a special use permit previously granted by the Board of Adjustment in May 2018 for a subdivision with 78 single family residential lots on 21.55 acres. The revision concerns street design changes within the subdivision, as well as road and lot layouts.

Phase 1 of construction – 27 lots on 9.14 acres – has already been completed. The proposed density of the entire project is 3.62 units per acre.

Detailed project documents, including the original 2018 site plan, can be viewed at

Sherwood Subdivision SUP (225, 233, 237, 243 New Salem Rd., 9 Little John Lane, 477 & 478 Rowland Rd., Swannanoa, 28778)

Asheville-based New Salem Development Company LLC requests a special use permit for a Level I Planned Unit Development consisting of 17 single-family homes and associated infrastructure on 5.6 acres.

Detailed project documents can be accessed at

One of the variances on this month’s agenda has been continued from the August meeting. More details are available from the most recent Xpress development roundup at or at the following project page:

  • Penley Variance (10 Roundabout Way, Asheville, 28805)

Nicholson Variance (137 Hemphill Rd., Asheville, 28803)

Asheville-based WNC Home Buyers Alliance LLC requests a variance to reduce the front, side and rear setbacks on 0.09 acres owned by Noelle Nicholson for the purpose of placing a single-wide manufactured home. The lot was previously home to a derelict cabin dating to 1920.

Detailed project information can be found at

Young Variance (6 E. Ridgeway Dr., Weaverville, 28787)

Weaverville property owners Roger and Kris Young request a variance to reduce the front setback on 0.81 acres from 20 feet to 0 feet to allow for an existing carport. An accompanying staff report notes that the carport was constructed without permits and sits within the road’s current right-of-way. The application maintains that the carport is located on a dead-end road with minimal traffic and cannot be placed elsewhere due to a steep slope and existing septic tank.

Project information can be found at


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About Sara Murphy
Sara Murphy lives in Leicester. Her work has appeared in 100 Days in Appalachia, Facing South, Polygon, and Lifehacker.

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6 thoughts on “Development roundup: New housing proposed for Elk Mountain ridgeline in Woodfin

  1. Taxpayer

    Holy cow. Investors would love to buy 110 short term rental units in Woodfin (that might as well be Asheville).

  2. NFB

    “None would be designated as affordable housing, and the units could be used as short-term rentals.”

    Such blatant contempt for the community should be reason enough alone to deny this project.

    • Robert

      Yes, activists from Richmond Hill and Woodfin have said this over and over the past 20 months while fighting the Bluffs and other contemptuous developers who try to jam bad projects down an actual Community’s throat. We need strong leaders who will heavily scrutinize traffic and environmental studies, consider societal impacts and safety concerns, and stop allowing whatever builders ‘can get away with’, no matter how much housing it creates and no matter for whom…

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