What we do

The Planning and Urban Design Department provides sound, professional land use planning, zoning, urban design and historic preservation and other services to achieve livable and sustainable neighborhoods for everyone. The department is committed to collaborating with our community on its vision for equitable growth and development consistent with Asheville’s adopted plans. 

Learn more about department services, projects and initiatives by clicking any of the tabs at the top of this page. Scroll down for quick links to some of our more popular services. 


The City Moves to Better Align the Delivery of Planning Services

Effective July 1, 2023, twelve staff members from the City’s Development Services Department have officially found a new home in the Planning & Urban Design Department.

“This change was considered carefully over the course of almost a year, and included many discussions with staff in both impacted departments” said Ben Woody, Assistant City Manager, who has spent time as the City’s Director of Development Services and also serves as the Interim Planning and Urban Design Director.

The goals of the reorganization include enhancing customer service, improving employee retention and attraction, and creating more efficiencies with internal processes. 


OPEN ONLINE FOR BUSINESS: Access online development-related services, including paying fees, submitting a digital permit application, scheduling an inspection, and reporting a food truck. See other Related Services below for additional development services available to you.

ZONING SERVICES: Zoning-related services such as zoning enforcement resources and zoning verification letters. To reach the Planner of the Day for your zoning-related questions, please call 828-259-5450 or email POD@ashevillenc.gov.

BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS: Planning & Urban Design is responsible for managing nine boards and commissions. The Boards and Commissions information can be found at the tab at the top of the page. Updated information regarding the operations of all boards and commissions can be found on the City Clerk’s page.















Related Services

Related Projects

Boosting the Block

The Boosting the Block project advances key elements in the Pack Square Plaza Vision Plan, including the planning, design and implementation of a gateway and cultural corridor along South Market Street. It incorporates place-based investments and programming that enhances the area’s physical and cultural environment.

Skyline at Sunset

Downtown Patton Avenue Corridor Feasibility Study

The purpose of the Patton Avenue Corridor Study is to develop transportation, land use, and urban design recommendations for Patton Avenue from the Jeff Bowen Bridge to the easternmost terminus at Pack Square. 

Local examples of Missing Middle Housing including an accessory dwelling unit (left), small apartment house (center), and townhomes (right)

Asheville’s Middle Housing Initiative

The purpose of the study is to identify regulatory or policy barriers that negatively impact the production of housing supply and to develop recommendations to help Asheville prioritize next steps to better align regulations with city goals. 

Planning and Urban Design News

panoramic image of buildings on the block

First funds of the $3-million Mellon Foundation Grant Invested into Boosting the Block Project

On May 28, Asheville City Council authorized $180,000 to fund a contract for community facilitation, engagement, and project support services for the “Boosting the Block” Project, one of three projects funded by the Mellon Foundation to implement components of the Pack Square Plaza Vision Plan. The Block is Asheville’s historic Black business district and multicultural [...]