Asheville Area Riverfront Redevelopment Commission

The purpose of The Asheville Area Riverfront Redevelopment Commission (AARRC) is to recommend to the City and County an overall policy for the continued development and sustainability of the regional riverfront. The Commission provides recommendations to the City and County for effective management of the public resources for the districts, and actively pursues and assists private sector investments in the districts. The Asheville Area Redevelopment Commission assists through cooperative measures to evaluate and represent the recommendations of other organizations, including, but not limited to property owners, merchants, residents, businesses, tenants, non-profits, institutions, as well as other members of the riverfront and regional riverfront district communities.

3 members of the AARRC also participate in the Design Review Committee (see River District Design Review, below).

 Meeting Schedule

The next meeting of the AARRC will be a special, in-person work session at 10 am on Thursday September 8, 2022 from 10 AM to Noon at the New Belgium Brewing Brew House.

NOTE that the number of meeting participants has reached capacity. If you did not already confirm an RSVP, you may attend the meeting but will not be able to participate in the worksession as the number of tables, seats and facilitators can not be increased at this time. We appreciate your understanding. See notes on how to provide public comment below. 

This is a structured work session, and not a town-hall style meeting. Attendees will be led through a brief presentation before breaking up into groups and participating in a structured exercise led by members of the AARRC. This exercise will result in the commission having specific, informed input on one or more coordinated actions the community is willing to take to better protect our river and its health. 

The Commission values public opinion and notes that during the exercise portion of this meeting they will be proposing questions to participants that require the public to provide the targeted input they need on this topic.  In order to use the public’s time and the Commission member’s time most efficiently, general public comments can be sent in advance of the meeting by email, or submitted at the meeting via comment card.  For emails, use “AARRC comment” in the subject line and send to The Commission will consider all comments received, including requests for future agenda items. 

The Commission hopes that people from across the spectrum of business, environmental, neighborhoods, and government will participate in the structured exercise.  

You’re invited to attend the River Improvement and Protection Summit on Thursday, September 8, 2022 from 10 AM – Noon at the New Belgium Brewing Co., Brew House, located at 21 Craven Street in Asheville. 

if you plan to attend, 

Please register online here

as your rsvp tremendously helps us with meeting set-up. 

Please plan to arrive at 9:30 AM for name-tagging, seating assignment and networking.

Questions about the purpose and content of the special meeting can be sent to Darren Green, the Riverfront Commission Chairperson at 


AARRC Membership

The Asheville Area Riverfront Redevelopment Commission consists of fourteen members.

  • two members appointed by the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, with one being a County Commissioner.
  • five members appointed by City Council, with one being a City Council member.
  • two members appointed by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce.
  • two members appointed by RiverLink.
  • two members appointed by the Council of Independent Business Owners.
  • and one member appointed by the Woodfin Town of Aldermen.

Each appointing body shall ensure that at least one half of their appointees are an owner of real property or an owner of a business in the Regional Riverfront. The Town of Woodfin, having only one appointee, is exempted from the ownership requirement.

Member contact: Darren Green, Chairman

UPDATED – River District Design Review and  Resource Documents

The former Riverfront Planning and Design Review Committee became part of the new City of Asheville’s Design Review Committee last year. The Asheville City Council adopted Ordinance No. 4855 on February 23rd, 2021.  This ordinance amended the city’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) related to hotel regulation and development review processes, and included the establishment of a new Design Review Committee (DRC) for all projects in designated design review areas (River, Downtown & Hotel Overlay).  
Development teams can still work with Planning staff to receive preliminary feedback on projects. Contact Will Palmquist at 


River District Design Review includes architectural review of all construction work requiring building, sign, demolition, zoning permits, and variance requests within the River District.

The purpose of design review is to preserve and enhance the character of the area, to protect existing and create new unique sites and structures, and to encourage investments that will increase pedestrian connections and density while promoting and managing the riparian areas of local rivers.

Anyone planning construction work in the River District must have their proposal reviewed by Planning and Development Department staff for alignment with River District Design Guidelines and the broader themes of the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay Master Plan. While review is mandatory, compliance with feedback and suggestions is voluntary.

Renovation, rehabilitation, and construction that promotes visual harmony, enhances the historical integrity of the area, and recognizes environmental constraints is encouraged by the review process.


Parcels Requiring Design Review

River District Design Review Guidelines 

River District Tree and Shrub Guidelines-

Contact the City of Asheville’s Planning & Urban Design Department staff prior to making an application to discuss the proposed plans and determine what information is required for submission at 828-259-5846. You must submit materials in advance of your meeting. Contact Will Palmquist for more information

AARRC Annual reports

Annual Report 2021

Annual Report 2020

Annual Report 2019

Annual Report 2018

Annual Report 2017

Annual Report 2016

Annual Report 2015

Annual Report 2014

 Annual Report 2013

Annual Report 2012


AARRC Contact Information

Staff Liaison: Stephanie Monson Dahl Urban Design and Place Strategies Manager for the City of Asheville’s Planning and Urban Design Department  828-337-4111