The City of Asheville will hold a public meeting today, Wednesday, June 17, to discuss the process of adapting form-based codes in the River Arts District.
Form-based codes are land developmental guidelines. In the case of the RAD, these codes will “help address known issues in the District, including housing affordability, maintaining an industrial and art-centered atmosphere, the presence of the flood plain, known and unknown contamination issues, and adjacency to the railroad right-of-way,” according to the projects official website.
“This will be an alternative to more traditional zoning,” says Sasha Vrtunski, urban planner with the city of Asheville. This means that the codes introduced to the RAD will be more focused on the form and density of existing and future structures rather than the nature of new businesses.
There are currently no plans set in stone for the future form-based codes, though the meeting will offer the “opportunity to let the community give input,” says Vrtunski.
In coordination with the June 17 meeting, there will be a charrette, a collaborative planning session, where community members will work in teams to create a more developed sense of guidelines that will benefit the district. The charrette will take place July 25 through July 29, with a hands-on design workshop held July 25 in the empty storefront at 372 Depot St. For additional information about specific times and dates, visit the official website.
The city of Asheville is teaming up with Code Studio, a Texas-based company focused on form-based codes in downtowns and corridors, which is the same company that worked on the Haywood Road corridor form-based code process. Additional consultants hired for this process include Nelson-Nygaard Associates, Third Coast Design Studio and Noell Consulting Group.
The Haywood Road corridor now abides by form-based codes, a process that began in 2013. “After the success of the Haywood Road form-based code, City Council and staff were interested in pursuing this tool in an area that will be seeing a great deal of redevelopment in the years to come,” said Alan Glines, interim director of the planning and urban design department in a press release from the city of Asheville.
Plans for these codes will be discussed at the meeting from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. in the auditorium of the Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center, located at 285 Livingston St.. The draft of the RAD form-based code is not expected to be unveiled until Spring 2016.