Happening Now

In early 2021, a task force was created to review the city’s open space zoning regulations and to refine the amendments to the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). The task force was composed of representatives from the following boards or commissions and supported by city 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 Open Space Task Force agreed to a consensus-based decision making approach to ensure that all perspectives were considered and deliberated. The process ultimately led to a stronger product that required much more intentional give and take between the representatives of the various boards/commissions. The task force completed their work in October 2021.

On July 26, 2022, the Asheville City Council reviewed and approved the proposed changes. That meeting can be viewed on the City’s YouTube page here. To view the adopted code in the City’s code library on the web, click here: Section 7-11-4. Open Space Standards.


Background

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.


Timeline

  • 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
  • April 7, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #4
  • April 28, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #5
  • May 12, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #6
  • May 26, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #7
  • June 16, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #8
  • June 30, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #9
  • July 14, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #10
  • July 20, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #10b (reconciliation)
  • August 11, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #11
  • August 25, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #12
  • September 8, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #13
  • September 29, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #14
  • October 13, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #15
  • March 8, 2022, 2:30-4 p.m. – City Council Work Session (YouTube video recording)
  • April 11, 2022 – Planning and Economic Development Committee (PED) review
  • May 4, 2022 – Planning and Zoning Commission (PZ) review and public hearing (Recommended approval)
  • July 26, 2022 – City Council approves the ordinance (6-1 vote)

Supporting Documents

Adopted Open Space Ordinance

Previous Open Space Regulations

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

April 7, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #4

April 28, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #5

May 12, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #6

May 26, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #7

June 16, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #8

June 30, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #9

July 14, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #10

July 20, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #10b

August 11, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #11

August 25, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #12

September 8, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #13

September 29, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #14

October 13, 2021 – Open Space Task Force Meeting #15


Contact Information

Vaidila Satvika, AICP
Department of Planning and Urban Design
828-251-4036


 

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Planning and Urban Design

The Planning and Urban Design Department provides sound, professional land use planning, zoning, urban design and historic preservation services to achieve livable and sustainable neighborhoods for everyone. The department is committed to collaborating with our community on its vision for equitable growth and development consistent with Asheville’s comprehensive plan. OPEN ONLINE FOR BUSINESS: Click

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