Asheville Buncombe Riverfront Commission

The purpose of the Asheville Buncombe Riverfront Commission (ABRC) 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 Buncombe Riverfront 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 ABRC also participate in the Design Review Committee (see River District Design Review, below).

View current members and board composition requirements here

Meeting Schedule

The next meeting of the ABRC is on Thursday May 9, 2024 at 4pm

The meeting will be held in person at the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce Building, 2nd Floor Conference Room, 36 Montford Avenue

Agenda HERE 

The meeting will not be live streamed. Public Comment will be heard in person at the meeting, or can be given in advance of the meeting by emailing David Hazzard, staff liaison  


April 11,2024 meeting was cancelled 

February 8, Meeting Minutes

January 11 Meeting Minutes

December 14 Meeting Minutes 

October 16 Meeting Minutes 

June 8 2023 Meeting Minutes

April draft meeting minutes to be reviewed 8/10/23

February 2023 Draft Meeting Minutes December 2022 Meeting Minutes 


ABRC Membership – View current members and board composition requirements here

The Asheville Buncombe Riverfront Commission consists of fourteen members.

  • three 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.
  • one member appointed by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce.
  • one member appointed by RiverLink.
  • one member appointed by the Council of Independent Business Owners.
  • one member appointed by the Black Mountain Town Council. 
  • one member appointed by the Board of Explore Asheville Convention.
  • 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.

The Chairperson for 2023 is Anne Keller. 

ABRC Annual reports

Annual Report 2022

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


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 two years ago:  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


ABRC Contact Information

Staff Liaison: David Hazard Plan and Development Administrator for the City of Asheville’s Planning and Urban Design Department  828-417-4306