For a number of years, I have been a fairly regular attendee at the Buncombe County Planning Board meetings (first and third Mondays of the month). When there are no rezoning requests or subdivisions up for preliminary approval, there are usually only two of us from the public and a Council of Independent Business Owners representative attending Planning Board meetings!
As you may be aware, all nine members of the Planning Board are recent appointees.
Recently, the Planning Department proposed changes to the subdivision ordinance in a 43-page document. One of the proposed changes would allow duplexes in the three single-family residential districts, which are R-LD (residential low density), R1 (single-family residential) and BDM (Beaverdam low-density residential district). The Planning Department justifies this proposed change by saying it would “solve a small problem”: Currently, if a resident wishes to add an independent living unit in a single-family residential district, it must be in a independent structure.
Permitting duplexes in all single-family residential districts will degrade these districts. Duplexes are currently permitted in eight other districts where they belong.
Copies of the proposed changes are available at the Planning Department on Valley Street.
To the best of my knowledge, this very significant proposed change to the Buncombe County subdivision ordinance has not been brought to the public’s attention. I hope that you will publicize this issue so that citizens have the opportunity to have their voices heard.
The Planning Board meets the first and third Monday of each month, and public comments are accepted at the start of each meeting. The meeting agenda can be found at www.buncombecounty.org (click on County Services and then Planning Board).
— Al Gumpert