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 A previous development proposal for the property was withdrawn after significant public outcry last year.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.
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 avl.mx/8ff, those wishing to speak must provide notice in writing at least 24 hours prior to the hearing at PlanningInfo@buncombecounty.org. More information is available at that email, bit.ly/37h90Jy or 828-250-4830.