RAD Lofts gets approval for more apartments, fewer retail

The future site of the RAD Lofts, 146 Roberts Street.

Asheville City Council members reviewed the 2015-2016 city budget, which heads to a public hearing on June 9, and approved the River Arts District Lofts project for more apartments but less retail space than initially proposed.

The two-parcel, mostly vacant project at 146 Roberts St. once was home to local manufacturer Dave Steel. Last year, Council approved construction of the RAD Lofts project, which is still seeking financing, according to developers who brought a revised plan to the May 26 meeting.

That plan increases the number of apartments from 209 to 243 and decreases the amount of retail and office space. The change passed unanimously, with the affordable housing part of the project earning comments from Council.

“This is an ambitious project, and there’s a lot to like about it, but it’s a real mixed bag for me,” said Council member Gordon Smith.

The budget

Council members also reviewed and scheduled a June 9 public hearing for a proposed city budget that includes a 1.5-cent tax increase.

The fiscal year 2015-2016 budget, if approved, goes into effect July 1. It includes an additional 10 jobs for water services, an extra 14 jobs paid by the city’s general fund, and a 1 percent pay increase for city workers. The general fund spending, if approved, will increase 3.6 percent to $103.1 million.

Action agenda

The action agenda is intended to provide the reader with an overview of the council meeting and any decisions that were made. It does not provide action on ceremonial or non-substantive matters.
THIS ACTION AGENDA IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. Authority to carry out actions related to any council decision should be obtained through normal departmental procedure.

Please call the City Clerk’s office at 259-5601 if you have any questions.

Present: Mayor Esther E. Manheimer, Presiding; Vice-Mayor Marc H. Hunt; Councilman Cecil Bothwell; Councilman Jan B. Davis; Councilman Christopher A. Pelly; Councilman Gordon D. Smith; Councilwoman Gwen C. Wisler; City Manager Gary Jackson; City Attorney Robin T. Currin; and City Clerk Magdalen Burleson.

Absent: None


Ordinance to enact a 20 mph speed limit on Sunset Drive from Baird Street to Griffing Boulevard North; and a 25 mph speed limit on (1) Glendale Avenue from Dogwood Road to Fairview Road, (2) Liberty Street from Fairview Road to Merchant Street, and (3) Pinecroft Road from Beaverdam Road to the end of City Maintenance. Adopted Unanimously.

Resolution authorizing the City Manager to submit a grant application to the Buncombe County
Tourism Tourism Development Authority for the 2015 Tourism Product Development Funds to
support riverfront destination development. Adopted Unanimously.

Resolution authorizing the City Manager to convey a 0.947 acre easement located at the
Asheville Regional Airport to the N.C. Dept. of Transportation for right-of-way purposes. Adopted Unanimously.

Resolution authorizing the Purchasing Manager to dispose of surplus city-owned personal
property (2004 John Deere 410G backhoe), valued at $30,000 or more. Adopted Unanimously.

Resolution authorizing the City Manager enter into a special maintenance agreement with
the N.C. Dept. of Transportation to allow public parking under a section of bridge # 322
and # 323 on the east side of the French Broad River in the River Arts District. Adopted Unanimously.

Resolution authorizing the City Manager to enter into a four-year lease agreement with John
Deere Credit for mowing and ball field maintenance equipment. Adopted Unanimously.

Resolution accepting Gratitude Drive as a city-maintained street. Adopted Unanimously.

Resolution authorizing the Mayor to execute, on behalf of the City of Asheville, a Federal
Aviation Administration Grant Agreement for Project No. 3-37-0005-45-2015 for runway
construction. Adopted Unanimously.

Presentation of the Fiscal Year 2015-16 Annual Operating Budget Heard Presentation
Financial Report. Received Report.

National Citizen Survey Results. Heard Presentation.

Legislative Update. Heard Presentation.

Public hearing to consider an amendment to a previously approved conditional zoning from
Urban Place District/ Conditional Zoning to Urban Place District/Conditional Zoning to amend
a previously approved mixed-use development project located at 146 Roberts Street. Adopted Unanimously.

Public hearing to consider an amendment to the land use incentive grant for 146 Roberts Street. (RAD Lofts).  Amended and Adopted 5-2 w/Bothwell and Smith voting “no.”

Public hearing to consider a land use incentive grant for River Mills Lofts, located at 300 Mill River Drive. Amended and Adopted 6-1 w/Bothwell voting “no.”

Public hearing to consider a conditional zoning for property located at 53 Logan Circle from
RM-8 Residential Multi-Family Medium Density District to RM-16/CZ Residential Multi-Family High Density District/Conditional Zoning for the construction of 16 townhome units, with conditions regarding setbacks, sidewalks and infrastructure improvements. Adopted Unanimously.

Public hearing to consider a conditional zoning of property located at 29 Oak Hill Drive from
RM-16 Residential Multi-Family High Density District to RM-16/ CZ Residential Multi-Family
High Density District/Conditional Zoning for the construction of 72 residential units in three
buildings with associated infrastructure, with conditions for reduced building setbacks,
reduced parking counts, and increase of residential density. Continued to 6-9-15.

Public hearing to consider an amendment to Article 13 of the Unified Development Ordinance to expand options for real estate and construction signage.  Adopted 6-1 w/Bothwell voting “no.”

Public hearing to consider an amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance to Section
7-8-1 to allow replacements of telecommunication towers and support structures in all zoning
districts. Adopted Unanimously.

Resolution appointing members to the Civil Service Board. Appted Carol Goins and Alan Escovitz.


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 Pat Barcas
Pat is a photojournalist and writer who moved to Asheville in 2014. He previously worked for a labor and social rights advocacy newspaper in Chicago. Email him at pbarcas@gmail.com. Follow me @pbarcas

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 “RAD Lofts gets approval for more apartments, fewer retail

  1. John Penley

    I would like to suggest that some of these apartments be set aside for homeless Veterans who have Hud-Vash vouchers.

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.