Asheville’s Urban Center zoning initiative moves forward to Planning & Zoning Commission




The Urban Place Form Code District heads to the Planning & Zoning Commission on July 7 as part of the Urban Centers rezoning proposal, initiated by the Asheville Department of Planning & Urban Design.


Urban Centers are a component of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, Living Asheville. They are intended to foster higher density, mixed-use development that is economically viable and pedestrian oriented in a way that contributes to placemaking in the city.


The vision is to support reinvestment through denser land use patterns that take advantage of the City’s bus system. It is designed to improve walkability and neighborhood quality of life while bringing housing closer to jobs by focusing on property located on high-frequency transit corridors.


Building upon form codes adopted in the River Arts District and on Haywood Road, staff has developed the Urban Place Form District with an emphasis 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 initial rezoning includes three nodes of property located on Tunnel Road, Bleachery Boulevard and Merrimon Avenue that are identified on the City’s Future Land Use Map as Urban Centers. They are also the focus of a transit-supportive growth strategy as identified on the Preferred Growth Scenario Map.


The rezoning will allow for properties to transition over time to allow for better alignment with the City’s long-term goals related to livability, equity and sustainability through incentives for mixed use development and housing, improved pedestrian facilities such as sidewalks and street trees, and better connectivity with easier access to transit and bicycle facilities.


To attend the meeting

The Planning & Zoning Meeting will be held at 5 p.m. July 7 in the First Floor Conference Room, Asheville City Hall, 70 Court Plaza. Find a copy of the agenda at this link.