The city’s urban centers initiative, as well as updates to open-space requirements for new projects, are meant to encourage denser development patterns, supporting less car-dependent communities and increasing the city’s tax base.
The city of Asheville has taken initial steps toward rezoning real estate in four places around town in hopes of encouraging new development that would offer a denser mix of housing, shops and office space, similar to Biltmore Park Town Square or Reynolds Village in Woodfin. “Asheville wants to move in a direction that is more urban, that is more walkable, that has a greater mix of uses,” says city planner Vaidila Satvika.
The effort was sparked by the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization, of which Asheville is a dues-paying member. Last fall, the MPO offered the city $157,500 (to be matched with $25,593 in local funds) for a corridor study of its choosing, with the goal of reducing automobile congestion and creating “an alternative to the auto-oriented cycle.”
From tiny homes to multifamily development — if a zoning tool can address Asheville’s housing shortage by promoting more infill development in residential areas, Asheville’s City Council is all for it. City planning staff got the go-ahead to draft new zoning amendments to encourage and remove barriers to infill development.