New Crossroads: two development proposals could add 1,500+ housing units

South Bear Creek Road and Sand Hill Road intersection
STOP SIGN: Prior to a previous public hearing on a now-withdrawn proposal to develop land off South Bear Creek Road and Interstate 240, neighbors said rush-hour traffic backs up at the intersection of South Bear Creek Road, foreground, and Sand Hill Road near the site of the proposed development. Developers said they would have a traffic signal installed. Photo by Mark Barrett

The Buncombe County Board of Adjustment will hear proposals for two massive development projects at its virtual meeting of Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 9 a.m.

First on the list is Busbee, an 852-unit complex off Sweeten Creek Road between the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Ballantree subdivision on land owned by Biltmore Farms. Covering approximately 133 acres of the 331-acre property, the project will include residential apartments for adults ages 55 and older and single-family residences.

In the project application, developers Flournoy Development Group of Columbus, Ga., say that construction will “cluster development in the lower portions of the property adjacent to Sweeten Creek Road while preserving the steeper slopes and stream corridors for open space.” The application notes N.C. Department of Transportation plans to widen Sweeten Creek Road and says that traffic studies have been completed for the project. The plan includes multiple points of access off Sweeten Creek Road, with the main entrance located across the road from the Carolina Day School athletic complex.

The project site is located outside the boundaries of the city of Asheville in Buncombe County and, according to the application, the “project will meet zoning development standards without a variance.”

The second large project to be considered on Oct. 14 is located at 20 South Bear Creek Road adjacent to Interstate 240. A previous development proposal for the property was withdrawn after significant public outcry last year. That proposal — known as Crossroads at West Asheville — included 802 apartment units, 14,400 square feet of retail space, 50,400 square feet of office space and a 64,000-square-foot self-storage business spread across 16 primary buildings and six smaller structures.

The new proposal includes 660 apartment units on the site which, like the Busbee property, lies outside city limits. The project will also include “open public green amenity areas, extended public walkways, public trailhead parking, pet walk areas, bike lanes, public trails along Hominy Creek, and fitness centers, community clubhouse, and pools for the residential buildings,” according to the application. The project developer is Catalyst Capital Partners of Charlotte, which holds an option to purchase the property from its current owner, Crossroads Church.

AT THE CROSSROADS: If approved in its current form, the revised Crossroads West Asheville development will contain a total of 660 housing units.This preliminary rendering shows one of 14 apartment buildings proposed for the site off S. Bear Creek Road. Image from Buncombe County

The Crossroads property borders the Hominy Creek Greenway, a 14-acre park that borders a mile-long section of Hominy Creek in Asheville.

In a statement, the Friends of the Hominy Creek Greenway, a citizen group that maintains and advocates for the park, flags ongoing concerns about the development project and requests the inclusion of new conditions for the developer, including, “That Buncombe County require the developer build a section of greenway that is open to the public and require it to connect to existing greenways/pedestrian thoroughfares.”

While anyone may watch the meeting on Zoom at, those wishing to speak must provide notice in writing at least 24 hours prior to the hearing at More information is available at that email, or 828-250-4830.




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About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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8 thoughts on “New Crossroads: two development proposals could add 1,500+ housing units

  1. Mike H

    As if Sweeten Creek Rd isn’t jammed up all the time anyway. Sure, add another potential 1600 cars. Most people on city council don’t live in that area, so what do they care? Infrastructure is not a concern in Asheville at all. Full speed ahead! lol

    • Virginia Daffron

      Mike, Asheville City Council won’t get a vote on this project since the parcel lies outside city limits. And as far as I can tell, the developer can build this project by right per county zoning rules.

      • Virginia Daffron

        Mike, I just spoke to County Planning Director Nathan Pennington, and he set me straight: Because the project requires a Conditional Use Permit, the board must approve it and therefore I was incorrect to say it is “by right.” Without getting too technical (and risking another error) Conditional Use does permit the board to impose additional conditions, so long as the board and the developer both agree. The board has some discretion, but less than in Conditional Zoning, which exists in the city but not the county.

  2. Mike R.

    The entire Conditional Use system is a sham that was set up in the 2009 zoning of Buncombe County. Essentially, many parcels of land were set up as conditoinal zoning. Those properties can often times be allowed to have housing, amusements parks, you name it.
    All that has to happen is for the Board of Adjustment (a front running committee that takes the heat off the County Commissioners) to approve the conditional permit and they almost always will unless the proposed use far exceeds impact limits. Neighborhoods spend umpteem hours and blood sweat and tears only to have the conditional permit approved.

    What really needs to happen is for Buncombe County go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate the 2009 zoning that was pushed through. Remember, this is when Wanda Green was in power and John Creighton (convicted) was head of the Planning function.
    Does anyone think it was possible that lots and lots of under the table money was passed around to get various propeties conditionally zoned? And who bought up and/or owns these properties? Well out of town/out of state developers of course!

    The whole system was rigged in 2009. And yet, conditional zoning projects come forth over and over and right-minded citizens rally to block them only to see their rightful and common sense concerns defeated.

    Again, the only way to stop this nonsense is to force the County to go back and redraw the zoning, starting with those numerous parcels that are zoned for conditoinal use permits. Push that string and see where it will lead!!

  3. Harold

    “right-minded citizens rally to block them only to see their rightful and common sense concerns defeated.”

    You do realize you live in the GREATEST CAPITALIST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, don’t you?

    The concerns of “citizens” are ALWAYS outweighed by the concerns of MONEY.

    I, as a wealthy landlord, could care less what you peons want.

    • G Man

      The problem has nothing to do with capitalism and everything to do with government corruption.

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