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.

4 members of the AARRC also participate in the new Joint Design Review Committee (see update under River District Design Review, below).

 Meeting Schedule

The next meeting of the Asheville Area Riverfront Redevelopment Commission meeting is scheduled for Thursday July 8 at 4 pm. 

More details will be posted here 1 week in advance of the meeting 

All City of Asheville public meetings are live streamed and saved for later  viewing at your convenience on the City’s YouTube channel. Visit this site 


AARRC Meetings General Information During COVID-19

The Asheville Area Riverfront Redevelopment Commission will hold virtual meetings when items needing to be voted on are placed on the agenda. Information about how the public can participate and view the meeting will be posted to this page in advance of the meeting.

AARRC Members

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 is changing.  The Asheville City Council adopted Ordinance No. 4855 on February 23rd.  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).  The Asheville City Council will appoint eight of the nine members with four members selected from the Downtown and Riverfront Commissions each (8 seats total).
The Boards and Commissions Committee will meet on April 13th to review applications.  The Committee will then make a recommendation to the Asheville City Council who will review the resource list to consider appointments.  Appointments are tentatively scheduled to occur at the April 27th regular City Council meeting. The new Joint Design Review Committee will hold its first meeting in May 2021. 
Development teams can still work with Planning staff and the former Riverfront Planning and Design Review Committee to receive feedback on projects in the meantime. This information will be discussed in detail at the March 11, 2021 AARRC meeting.


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 the character of the area, protect and enhance unique sites and structure, 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 and starting in May 2021, the Joint Design Review Committee, 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 Sasha Vrtunski for more information

Adopted ordinance and by laws

The AARRC ordinance has been updated on February 23, 2021, and new by laws are under development. They will be posted when finalized.


AARRC Annual reports

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, Strategic Design and Development for Planning and Urban Design  828-337-4111