Urban Centers

urban centers concept


Happening Now

The City Council adopted the Urban Place Form Code District on September 28, 2021. The new zoning district aims to implement the transit-supportive growth strategy that is identified on the Preferred Growth Scenario Map of Living Asheville: A Comprehensive Plan for Our Future.

The initial rezoning of Phase I included four nodes of property located on Tunnel Road, S. Tunnel Road, Bleachery Boulevard and Merrimon Avenue that are identified on the City’s Future Land Use Map (FLUM) as Urban Centers.



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 began with rezonings at four nodes along commercial corridors. The transformation aims for a greater mix of uses, including residential development on larger parcels. 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 applied form-based zoning concepts that focus on the physical form as the organizing principle of the zoning 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 rezoning to this new zoning district is 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 first nodes to be rezoned were primarily zoned Regional Business (RB), Highway Business (HB), or River (RIV) zoning district.

For an interactive review of the phase I rezoned parcels as well as phase II 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







Presentations to North Asheville Residents and Nextdoor:

Video Presentation
Chat Questions and Answers
Presentation Slides


Zoning Standards

The approved zoning is available for review at the following link (Urban Place Form Code District) and will be added to Municode soon.







July 7, 2021: Phase 1, Planning and Zoning Commission review/public hearing

August 4, 2021: Planning and Zoning Commission continued hearing to add a portion of the Asheville Mall site on Tunnel Road

September 1, 2021: Planning and Zoning Commission final vote

September 28, 2021: Phase 1, City Council public hearing

October 6, 2021: Phase 2, Planning and Zoning Commission review/public hearing

October 26, 2021: Phase 2, City Council public hearing



Vaidila Satvika, AICP
Department of Planning and Urban Design


Updated 10/11/2021

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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. COVID-19 Information We’re Working for You!   City Hall is [...]