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, also adopted on September 28th, 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.
On January 11, 2022, the City Council adopted Phase II of the Urban Centers initiative, which included approximately 122 acres of property adjacent to the Asheville Mall on South Tunnel Road.
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.
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.
For an interactive review of the phase I and phase II properties that were rezoned to the Urban Place Form district parcels, click here.
Select a thumbnail to view a project poster
(The online survey closed on May 21, 2019)
Presentations to North Asheville Residents and Nextdoor:
Chat Questions and Answers
The approved zoning text is available for review at the following link (Urban Place Form Code District) and also on American Legal Publishing.
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 zoning code adopted
October 6, 2021: Phase 2 rezoning recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission
January 11, 2022: Phase 2 rezoning adopted by the Asheville City Council. Link to Ordinance #4923.
Vaidila Satvika, AICP
Department of Planning and Urban Design