City of Asheville
The public will be able to provide input on one zoning map amendment and one zoning text amendment at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 1, which will be 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 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, March 16, with a pre-meeting 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 before 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 avl.mx/8b6.
Zoning map amendment
Weaverville-based Brookstone Baptist Church requests a conditional rezoning of 3.39 acres on Merrimon Avenue from Institutional and Residential Multi-Family Medium Density (RM-8) to Institutional (INST) and Institutional – Conditional Zoning (INST – CZ).
The purpose of this request is to rezone the rear portion of the existing parking lot so that the entire parcel is under the same zoning. The existing building, which used to house a Brookstone Church location, will be remodeled into an office building. Asheville-based Cashiers Investors II LLC is the developer for the project.
Project documents can be accessed at avl.mx/cfu.
Zoning text amendment
Chris Collins, the city’s Development Services Department’s planning and development division manager, will present a proposed amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance regarding neighborhood meeting requirements for Level 2 projects, Major Subdivisions and Conditional Zonings.
Currently, all three of these project types require developers to hold a neighborhood meeting no earlier than four months and no later than 10 days prior to submitting the development approval application. The meeting must be held in a location and on a date and time that allow neighbors to attend. Notice of the meeting must be provided via first-class mail to all property owners and addresses within 200 feet of the proposed development, as well as via a physical notice on the proposed development site, within 10 days of the meeting. Developers are encouraged, though not required, to hire a neutral third party to facilitate the meeting. A written report of the meeting must be submitted with the development application. (See section 7-5-9.1 of the UDO for the exact wording.)
According to Collins, the proposed changes will require developers to use a best-practices guide provided by the city for these neighborhood meetings. Signage and notifications prior to any meeting must use new city templates, and developers must register and report neighborhood meetings using a city form.
Finally, the city proposes to extend the notification period from 10 days to 14 days before a neighborhood meeting and broaden the notification area from property owners and addresses within 200 feet to within 400 feet for all developments outside of the Central Business District.
Two projects requiring special use permits, as well as a presentation on the Buncombe County Comprehensive Plan, are on the agenda at the Buncombe County Board of Adjustment meeting at noon Wednesday, March 8. The in-person meeting will be at the Board of Commissioners Chambers, 200 College St.
Information on how to attend and apply for comment can be found at avl.mx/anq. No email or voicemail comments will be accepted.
Special use permits
William Griffin of Asheville-based developer Gracefund1 LLC requests a special use permit to construct a Level 1 Planned Unit Development featuring 136 residential units and an urgent care clinic over four buildings on 8.25 acres.
This complex qualifies as a Community Oriented Development, defined in the county zoning ordinance as a single, multifamily or mixed-use development that includes either affordable or workforce housing. In a process similar to that of the city of Asheville’s public benefits table for hotel development downtown, projects that meet certain sustainable development, affordable housing and community-oriented criteria can earn higher density and minimum lot size allowances.
Cedar Ridge Apartments earned 138 of the maximum 735 points, with the majority of points awarded for dedicating 20% of the units to workforce housing (80%-120% of the area median income for 15 years, or $45,000 to $67,500 for a one-person household and $64,250 to $96,375 for a family of four in 2022), installing elevators and Energy Star certification.
One hundred twenty-six of the residential units will be rentals, and 10 units will be short-term rentals. The urgent care clinic will be 3,800 square feet. The project density is 16.4 units per acre, less than the maximum allowed density of 17.28 units per acre.
Project documents can be accessed at avl.mx/cfx.
Viktor Matviychuk of Candler-based developer Smokey Park Acres LLC and Smokey Park Solutions LLC requests a special use permit to build two 100,100-square-foot warehouse buildings for loading and unloading tractor-trailers on 32.46 acres. This expansion of an existing facility will include 168 parking spots for tractor-trailers.
Project documents can be accessed at avl.mx/cfy.
Buncombe County Comprehensive Plan 2043 presentation
Shannon Capezzali of the Buncombe County Planning & Development Department will update the Board of Adjustment members on the status of the county’s comprehensive plan.
A primer for community-oriented development
Buncombe County’s community-oriented development was designed by the Planning & Development Department and adopted by county commissioners in 2015. In 2020, it received a Best in Category for Planning award from the National Association of Counties. It is designed to encourage affordable housing by allowing qualifying projects higher density.
To qualify as a community-oriented development, applicants must earn points in two of three sections: community, environment/transit and economy. The number of points earned translates into a “bonus density multiplier.” In other words, if a project earns 159 points, it can multiply the maximum allowed density for its zone by 1.59.
The application with the full benefits table can be accessed at avl.mx/cfz.