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Massive development near South Slope OK’d by council
Wednesday, 01 January 2020 14:18

From Staff Reports 

Asheville City Council voted 5-1 on Dec. 10 to approve a zoning change for the area between Ashland and Coxe avenues that will result in a massive development.

“Yes” votes were Vice Mayor Gwen Wisler and council members Brian Haynes, Vijay Kapoor, Julie Mayfield and Keith Young. 

The lone “no” vote was cast by Councilwoman Sheneika Smith, who expressed concerns that the “massive” project would disrupt the transit system, which has been named a top council priority but is facing criticism from many users over lack of on-time buses.

Voicing the apparent view of the “yes” voters, Kapoor asserted, “This seems to check all the boxes for the type of development we want to se. “We need more housing in the city. We need more housing downtown.”

The vote clears the way “for a project that will have 86,000 square feet of commercial space and close to 500 apartments,” Asheville television station WLOS (News 13) reported later that evening.

“Council members went back and forth on whether to support the project, their biggest concerns being traffic and the number of affordable housing units,” WLOS reported.

“Some council members said the development’s 49 affordable housing units weren’t enough. They were also concerned about how the development would affect buses on Ashland and Coxe avenues.

“Developers have agreed to pay up to $30,000 for traffic enhancing technology.

“During public comments, people had a lot of the same concerns council members did.

“But some said they can look beyond their concerns because of how much the South Slope area needs this project.

“It’s not a great project,” WLOS quoted Coucilman Keith Young as saying. “It’s a good project, but it’s not a great project. But as it pertains to affordable housing, that is where I, personally, want to see us to continue to put these units.”

The TV station also noted, “Some people said they didn’t like the development’s 1,000-space parking garage.”

“Representatives on the design team said it’s necessary for the number of people who will live there and the businesses that will also be on the property." WLOS reported.



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