Oakley residents organize to discuss proposed apartment complex

People in the Oakley community are raising concerns about a new 300-plus-unit apartment complex planned for the East Asheville neighborhood. A group of more than 20 people gathered Tuesday evening, Dec. 2, in the basement fellowship hall at Oakley United Methodist Church to hear news about the project from David Ankeney, whose home sits on nearly 2 acres of land adjacent to the site, which is situated near Biltmore Village on Fairview Road.

Attendees looked at site plans, discussed the pros and cons of the proposal and expressed worries about everything from potential traffic and safety issues to the fact that only 10 of the development’s planned residential units — which are nearly all rental properties — are designated as affordable housing. Ankeney noted during the meeting that although a letter he received from the city’s Planning and Development Department states that the plans are for a “mixed-use project containing apartments and retail,” only 2 percent of the site is allotted to retail space. Residents at the meeting nearly unanimously expressed opposition to the plan in its current form.

Asheville City Council will vote at its meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 9, whether to grant a conditional zoning request from the developers, Flournoy Development Co. They’re asking Council to change zoning for the complex from an “Urban Village” designation to “Urban Place Conditionally Zoned” designation. That means Council will also decide on whether to give the go-ahead for the project.

Oakley community members will meet again at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at Oakley United Methodist Church, 607 Fairview Road, to make further plans with an eye toward presenting their objections to the proposal. The meeting is open to the public and details can be found here.

To view the plans for the Biltmore Apartments, click here.

At the Dec. 9 meeting, Council will also consider a 254 multi-family unit development proposal called River Mills Loft, located in the Biltmore area off of Thompson Street. And a 104 apartment proposal for West Asheville on Hazel Mill Road. Both of those plans are also controversial.

Asheville City Council plans to hold public hearings on the developments Tuesday, Dec. 9, in room 209 of City Hall. The meeting begins at 5 p.m. Stay tuned to mountainx.com/news/local-government for updates.

UPDATE: This story has been revised to reflect that 2 percent of the site is allocated to retail space. A previous version of the story stated that 1 percent was planned for retail. 

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About Gina Smith
Gina Smith is the Mountain Xpress Food section editor and writer. She can be reached at gsmith@mountainx.com.

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One thought on “Oakley residents organize to discuss proposed apartment complex

  1. David Ankeney

    At around 1:30pm today (Sunday 12/7) my 8 year-old son rushed inside from playing outside. We live on a very secluded, large lot at the end of a private driveway with no through traffic. “Dad, I’m scared because there are some strange people walking around in our yard right now.” To my surprise, it was Vice Mayor Marc Hunt and City Councilwoman Gwen Wisler. They told me they just walked up from the 14 acre parcel that’s being proposed for development down below. No call first, just wandered up into my private property. I am not kidding. Trespassing technically?? They asked me where the 10-40 foot retaining wall will be along my property—as in future tense, it’s going to happen, deal with it. Then they shared some awkward thoughts on Craftsmen architecture, said goodbye and strolled out on my driveway headed towards Fairview Road. I took some pictures if anyone wants them. Still rather stunned that it actually happened.

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