Urban Centers


Happening Now


Comprehensive Plan-based rezoning of six commercial nodes totaling approximately 290 acres of property to create transit-supportive mixed-use urban centers. The rezoning will take place in two phases. Phase one includes properties at the following nodes: Merrimon Avenue, Tunnel Road (north section), and Bleachery Boulevard. Phase two includes properties at the Patton Avenue and South Tunnel Road nodes.




The City’s Comprehensive Plan, Living Asheville, calls for the City to transition in a direction that strengthens urban transit corridors and connects urban centers. The vision calls for land use changes that add value and support reinvestment through denser land use patterns and enhanced multimodal transportation that improves walkability and neighborhood quality of life, as shown in the graphic below.


Less of this and more of this

The transition to a city that strengthens urban form and connects corridors will begin with rezonings at four nodes commercial corridors. The transformation aims for a greater mix of uses, including residential development. The nodes that will be affected in this project have been identified as Urban Centers on the Future Land Use map and Preferred Growth Scenario map and are located along the City’s network of higher frequency transit (bus) routes.


Building upon recent rezonings in Asheville in the River Arts District and on Haywood Road, staff will apply form-based zoning concepts that focus on the physical form as the organizing principle of the code. Form-based codes address the relationships between structures and the public realm to create regulations that are more predictable, particularly because of the greater reliance on visuals and graphics to highlight expected results.


The goal of this rezoning will be to foster higher density, mixed-use development that is economically viable, pedestrian oriented, visually attractive and contributing to the place making character of the city. Acknowledging that these sites are located in areas that are currently primarily auto oriented, in the long-term likely changes along the streets will support land use changes by providing more sidewalks, pedestrian refuge islands, bicycle facilities, street trees, improved transit facilities, and so forth.


The study areas are primarily zoned Regional Business (RB), Highway Business (HB), or River (RIV) zoning district.


For an interactive review of the project sites, click here.


Project Posters


Select a thumbnail to view a project poster


Urban Center Visual
Urban Centers
Blocks Visual
Intersections Visual
Lots Visual








Buildings Visual
Sidewalks Visual
Trees and Open Space Visual
Trees and Open Space
Parking Visual









(The online survey closed on May 21, 2019)


Survey Results


Question 1 Survey Results
Question 1 Results
Question 2 Survey Results
Question 2 Results
Question 3 Survey Results
Question 3 Results







Zoning Standards


The draft zoning standards for Urban Centers is available for review. As these are still in draft mode, comments are welcome. Please submit any comments to Vaidila Satvika.

Draft Zoning Standards







Urban Place Zoning District Summary



Sept/Oct 2021: Phase 2, City Council public hearing

August 2021: Phase 2, Planning and Zoning Commission review/public hearing

June 22, 2021: Phase 1, City Council vote

June 8, 2021: Phase 1, City Council public hearing

May 5, 2021: Phase 1, Planning and Zoning Commission review/public hearing



Vaidila Satvika, AICP
Department of Planning and Urban Design


Updated 3/18/2021

Related Services

Urban Centers News

Burton Street sign image
City of Asheville to identify and document architectural history and character of Burton Street neighborhood

  The Department of Planning and Urban Design is excited to be working with the leadership of the Burton Street Neighborhood Association to identify, document and share information about the history and character defining architecture and streetscapes of the Burton Street neighborhood.    The idea for this project emerged from the I-26 Connector Burton Street Mitigation Working Group, [...]

Windsor hotel
New Asheville hotel development ‘Public Benefits Table’ designed to meet community needs

    New hotel development in the City of Asheville should have less impact on nearby neighborhoods and provide more benefits to the community under new regulations approved by City Council Feb. 23.    Prior to adoption of the new regulations, City Attorney Brad Branham explained to Council that North Carolina law does not allow municipalities to outright ban [...]

Hotel photo illustration
City of Asheville staff to present updated hotel development ordinance to Planning and Zoning Commission

    Following two City Council work sessions, the City of Asheville Department of Planning and Urban Design has further analyzed the proposed hotel development regulations and will be holding a public hearing to present the revised regulations at 5 p.m. Feb. 3 the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.    At the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting , City [...]