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Opposition prevails (for now) as Overlook apartment plan nixed
Tuesday, 04 July 2017 10:17

From Staff Reports

Following opposition expressed by neighbors, a proposed infill development of 260 workforce housing units for south Buncombe County has been yanked off the table. 

The plan was to build 230 apartments and 30 town homes on Overlook Road in southern Buncombe County.

Derek Allen, an attorney with Ward and Smith, P.A., who is representing Greensboro developer Zach Tran, said the next proposal will be substantially different.

 Allen said organized neighborhood opposition was an important factor in the decision. Residents from Biltmore Park and the Oak Forest community spoke against the proposal, mostly with concerns about traffic.

 Overlook Road, which would service the development, is narrow with insufficient room for widening and already congested with traffic. It serves as a key connector between Hendersonville Road and Long Shoals Road.

Ideas being considered now by the developer include reducing the number of units, adding a convenience store so people would drive less, or using traffic calming to divert cut-through traffic.

 Allen said the next proposal will be different in terms of the type and number of units. He further assured the developer would meet with neighbors for input on the new design.

 Asheville City Council candidate Vijay Kapoor, a South Asheville resident, was a spokesperson for the organized opposition. He described the design review process as “absolutely crazy.” Other neighbors complained they had had no chance to voice complaints.

 The development would not have required review by the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. The county Board of Adjustment would have had final say, and it cannot consider neighborhood opposition in approving or denying proposals.



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