Small-Scale Residential Infill

residential street

Happening Now

In 2017, Asheville City Council approved zoning changes to the city code that promote small-scale residential infill development.





Summary Brochure - Residential Zoning Changes
summary brochure page 1
summary brochure page 2




To address the housing shortage at the request of City Council, the City's Department of Planning and Urban Design reviewed the City's residential zoning standards contained within the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). Staff identified opportunities to remove barriers to allow more small-scale residential infill in order to help meet the city's housing needs while maintaining the character of residential districts. City Council authorized staff to develop considerations and gather public input on potential changes. After a year and a half, City Council adopted UDO wording amendments to incentivize more efficient use of scarce residential property and to add greater variety to Asheville's housing stock.



February 23, 2016 - Staff presentation to City Council outlining regulatory barriers to residential infill and potential changes for staff to consider. (To see that presentation on YouTube, click here. It begins 5 minutes into the Council Meeting). 

July 14, 2016 - Public workshop #1 on staff considerations relating to small-scale residential infill. Complete packet of all Visuals from Workshop #1

August 11, 2016 - Public workshop #2 on staff considerations relating to small-scale residential infill, US Cellular Center Banquet Hall, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

September - November 2016 January 2017 - Staff to review public comment and draft potential ordinance(s) for UDO amendments to remove barriers to allow for neighborhood-compatible, small-scale residential development. Some of the main concerns have to do with potential impacts relating to neighborhood character, stormwater, and parking. To review public comments, click here or download a pdf of all of the survey responses.

January February-March 2017 - Public outreach to review details of proposed ordinances.

February 13, 2017 - Staff presentation to Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods (CAN)

March 13, 2017 - Staff presentation to Carolinas Real Estate Investors Association (CREIA)

April-May 2017 - Internal review and final document preparation

February  May  June  August 2, 2017 - Planning & Zoning Commission review of the proposed wording amendment(s).  Presentation


  • 20% reduction to minimum lot width standards for all residential zoning districts
  • Density incentive for residential multi-family zoning districts
  • New neighborhood-scale multifamily design standards
  • Reductions to driveway standards
  • Other ancillary changes to support small-scale residential infill

August 22, 2017 - City Council unanimously adopted the recommended zoning changes and requested staff, in addition, to reduce minimum lot area standards by 20%. To accomplish that, staff will return to the Planning & Zoning Commission before coming back to City Council. Council did not, however, increase off-street parking requirements within a mile of the Central Business District and did not reduce maximum driveway widths (18’) for single-family development. Here is the City Council Presentation (PDF). For details, you can download City Ordinance No. 4068 (PDF).

October 24, 2017 - City Council unanimously adopted additional zoning changes to reduce minimum lot area standards by 20%. For details, you can download City Ordinance No. 4621.

Contact Information

Vaidila Satvika, Urban Planner II
Department of Planning & Urban Design