Open Space Task Force

Happening Now

A task force has been created to review the city’s open space zoning regulations and to consider amendments to update the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). These regulations relate to the open spaces that are required primarily for new development projects, not to be confused with larger public open spaces of city parks and greenways.

The Open Space Task Force is using a consensus-based approach to update existing regulations with the goal to help fulfill a key challenge identified in the Living Asheville Comprehensive Plan, which is to balance the need to accommodate growth with environmental concerns. The resulting amendments will be presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission and ultimately reviewed by the Asheville City Council for adoption. The task force is composed of representatives from the following boards or commissions and supported by staff from the Department of Planning & Urban Design:

  • Asheville Area Riverfront Redevelopment Commission (AARRC)
  • Affordable Housing Advisory Committee (AHAC)
  • Development Customers Advisory Group (DCAG)
  • Downtown Commission (DTC)
  • Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC)
  • Planning & Zoning Commission (PZ)
  • Sustainability Advisory Committee on Energy and the Environment (SACEE)
  • Urban Forestry Commission (UFC)



The City of Asheville adopted Living Asheville: A Comprehensive Plan for our Future in 2018, after an extensive public engagement process and input from a fifteen member Advisory Committee of community representatives drawn from relevant boards and commissions.


Living Asheville is intended to help guide decision making with respect to the key ongoing challenges and opportunities of fostering a livable and affordable built environment, ensuring harmony with the natural environment, growing a resilient economy, promoting interwoven equity, ensuring a healthy community, and bolstering responsible thinking at the regional scale.


Key amongst the challenges that Living Asheville seeks to address is the need to balance preservation of the natural and built environment while accommodating population growth and the need to provide new and diverse housing that is priced affordably for the city’s residents. Given considerable geographical and physical challenges in the city, there is a need to increase density and actively promote strategically-located and well-designed development that maximizes public benefit.


Beginning in January 2019,  Planning and Urban Design staff began work on amending the open space regulations in the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) in order to address growing concerns that some of the existing standards were creating barriers to infill development and the provision of affordable housing. But due to difficulty in reaching a consensus with the relevant advisory boards and commissions, the city has consequently established a task force with the goal of reaching consensus on this policy issue.



  • 2018 – City adopts Living Asheville: A Comprehensive Plan for our Future
  • 2019 – City proposes changes to  open space regulations but is unable to reach consensus among various stakeholder boards and commissions
  • January 2021 – City establishes Open Space Task Force
  • February 25, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #1
  • March 10, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #2
  • March 24, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #3



Supporting Documents

Current Open Space Regulations

Proposed Open Space Regulations

Map of RAD Dedicated Open Space

Map (Interactive) of Locations that are Currently Exempt from Open Space Requirements

February 25, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #1 Minutes

March 10, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #2 Minutes

March 24, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #3 Minutes


Contact Information

Vaidila Satvika, AICP
Department of Planning and Urban Design



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