Hotel Development Study

Happening Now


City Council Work Session:

On October 27, 2020, at 2:30 p.m., City Council will be holding a work session on proposed hotel development regulations. This is a continuation of the work session that began on October 13, 2020. No public comment will be accepted at the worksession.

Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute § 166A-19.24(f) the work session will be a remote meeting which the public can access by any of the following means:

City Council Work Session Slide Show


Proposed Hotel Development Standards and Zoning Map Available for Review:

Based on the findings of a hotel development study, which included an analysis of hotel impacts, recommendations by the Urban Land Institute and extensive public engagement, following the adoption of a temporary moratorium on hotel development in September, 2019, city staff have released a proposal for new hotel development standards. This proposal includes three primary components, outlined below:

      • New hotel development requirements, restricting hotels to appropriate areas with zoning standards designed to offset impacts and meet key community goals;
      • A strong incentive to incorporate high priority public benefits, such as affordable housing, living wages and green building elements into a hotel project; and,
      • A design review process that promotes (or preserves) quality architecture and building design, and enhances place making.

The proposed ordinances have been reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Commission, but their vote will be postponed until after the Council work session. For more information follow this link: Planning and Zoning Commission

To review the revised map follow this link: Hotel Districts Map
To review the proposed ordinances and supporting documents following these links.

Hotel Standards
Map Amendments
Planning and Zoning Hotel Development Regulations Presentation





Asheville has experienced an influx of new hotel development over the past few years and community concern has been mounting over the impacts resulting from this influx, represented by projects that are currently both under construction and in the pipeline. Concerns include the geographic clustering of development downtown, the quality and design of the construction, the effects on the land use mix,  the impacts to City infrastructure and services and a general concern about the impacts of tourism on the Asheville community.

The city currently lacks concrete policies, strategies and tools to effectively manage or regulate hotels. The lack of clear direction in the Asheville City Code and the Living Asheville Comprehensive Plan has resulted in uncertainty for developers, staff and community members. Consequently, on September 24, 2019, the Asheville City Council approved a hotel moratorium, pausing hotel development in the city. The moratorium will allow the city time to undertake a professional planning analysis with the help of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) with the purpose of developing recommendations for enhanced land use policies and improved tools and strategies to better plan for and regulate hotel development, and to provide clearer direction to the development community.

Utilizing a Technical Assistance Program Panel (TAP) process, ULI evaluated the issues associated with tourism and hotel development, with the goal to quantify the impacts of new hotel development and obtain a better understanding of all the concerns before presenting their findings on best practices tools and strategies to deal with the issues.

The TAP process was kicked off with a visit from the ULI panel who toured Asheville before holding a series of listening sessions with the public and stakeholder groups on January 9, 2020.

City staff also prepared the following briefing book to familiarize the panel with the issues.










The panel returned on January 30, 2020 to present their findings and recommendations.

Below is a recording of the presentation:

City Council held a work session on February 25, 2020 to discuss the ULI recommendations and provide staff with direction on the next steps.

Below is a recording of the work session:


The final  ULI TAP report is now available with some follow-up thoughts from the panel in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.












Supporting Documents

Hotel Districts Map (PZC 9/2/20)

Hotel Districts Map (post survey)

Hotel Study FAQs

Hotel Study Background Video
Please review this video to learn more about the proposed hotel development regulations.

Hotel Study Map
Proposed hotel overlay map for public comment. To comment on this map please take the survey at the top of the page.

Final ULI Tap Report

Post TAP Panel Comments

Staff Presentation – February 23, 2020

Staff Presentation – January 30, 2020

ULI TAP Recommendations – January 30, 2020

ULI Presentation – January 9, 2020

Hotel Development Briefing Book

ULI Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) Process

Moratorium Ordinance

Presentation to Planning and Economic Development Committee – August 29, 2019



Contact Information

Stacy Merten, Principal Planner


Updated 10/6/2020

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