Development roundup: Urgent care clinic, workforce housing proposed for Charlotte Highway

COMMUNITY ORIENTATION: The proposed Cedar Ridge Apartments off Charlotte Highway will devote 20% of its 136 rental units to workforce housing, one of the reasons it qualifies as a Community Oriented Development. The COD designation allows developers to increase the density allowed per acre if they meet certain economic, community and environmental criteria. Image courtesy of Buncombe County

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

Zoning map amendment

Brookstone Baptist Church (283 Merrimon Ave., 28801)

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

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.

Buncombe County

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 No email or voicemail comments will be accepted.

Special use permits

Cedar Ridge Apartments SUP (208 Charlotte Highway and 19 Staak Drive, Asheville, 28803)

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

Smokey Park Truck Stop Expansion (99999 Smokey Park Highway, Upper Hominy Township, Candler)

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

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


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

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

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

One thought on “Development roundup: Urgent care clinic, workforce housing proposed for Charlotte Highway

  1. R.G.

    Could someone from Mountain Xpress (or some other knowledgeable human) define Workforce Housing? Is this term to replace Affordable Housing? Is it Public Housing, Section-8 Housing, something else? Who will be given first crack at Workforce Housing? What will be the criteria? Who will decide, and how?

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.