Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the 26-acre property at 767 New Haw Creek Road being sold?
The former owners of the property have passed away and their estate instructions call for the property to be sold with the proceeds donated to a local foundation.
What is the current status of the sale?
A buyer (Kevin Jackson) has submitted an offer that has been accepted by the estate executors–the exact amount is not known until the sale is recorded. The buyer is in ‘Due Diligence,’ during which they determine whether to proceed to closing or withdraw from the sales contract. Likely this will depend on whether they receive approval for the development from the City of Asheville.
What does it mean that the developer is seeking to rezone the property?
Currently, the property is zoned RS-4 (Residential Single-Family, four homes per acre allowed). The buyer is seeking Conditional Zoning (CZ), which would allow higher density if the City Council approves. The proposal is for 4,000 sq ft building lots, or about 1/10th of an acre. Approval of CZ zoning would allow more homes to be built than the existing RS-4 zoning would allow. Currently, 95 homes have been proposed for this site.
Does Conditional Zoning offer any benefit to Haw Creek and surrounding neighbors?
The unique feature of Conditional Zoning is that it allows, and even encourages, negotiation between all parties. For example, in return for allowing the developer to build to a higher density, the City Council could insist on features beneficial to the surrounding community.
What if the developer won't agree to negotiate?
When the time comes for the City Council to vote on the rezoning request, this could be grounds for denying the rezoning and therefore limiting the number of homes that could be built.
What happens if the City Council votes to deny the rezoning?
The developer may withdraw his offer if the City Council votes down the rezoning. However, the estate executors still have to sell the property, probably in the same $3M price range. The next buyer will likely also be a developer, and this second buyer will know that the City Council did not approve Conditional Zoning, so that option would not be available. So the second buyer would likely build to the maximum of what is allowed without requiring a City Council vote–49 homes. Without a CZ review, the second buyer would not be required to consult with the community, protect the existing tree canopy, or provide a conservation easement.
So if Conditional Zoning allows higher density but with community conditions, is it better to negotiate with the current buyer or wait to see what happens?
That’s the discussion the community needs to undertake. There’s no clear answer to this question, although some facts are known. Asheville will continue to grow. People need homes and a majority on the City Council want to expand all housing types. The 767 New Haw Creek property will be sold. Conditional Zoning provides an option to influence what happens, in return for higher density.
Why don’t we just buy the land and create a park?
This is an option but the math and the timing make it very difficult. It would take time to raise $3M+ and the estate wants to sell the property now. However, this option is not unprecedented in Haw Creek. The 9-acre Masters Park came about when, in 2008, we challenged Buncombe County and the City of Asheville to each provide one third of the $720,000 purchase price if we were successful raising the other third. Between grants, fundraisers, and donations HCCA raised $240,000 and the county and the city did the same. The fundraising campaign for Masters Park took more than a year and we wouldn’t have as much time with this property.
Will there be a traffic study to determine the impact on New Haw Creek Road?
HCCA is undertaking an independent traffic study with the results expected by March 1, 2024.
Will the units be developed according to City of Asheville “affordable” guidelines?
At the November 28, 2023 public meeting a representative of the developer said the pricing of the new homes will be at “market rate.”
What is the price range going to be?
The developer has not specified the price range of the new homes.
How will the developer minimize construction traffic on New Haw Creek Road?
The construction vehicles will travel on NHC road and, in theory, not impede traffic as they will pull onto the property.
What is the tentative timeline?
The approval process is long – at least another 6 months. Then about 1 year for infrastructure construction.
What size will the lots be?
The design proposal submitted by the developer appears to show lot sizes in the 4,000 to 8,000 sq ft range.
Will the construction be phased?
The site work will be done at one time, housing will likely be done in phases.
Will any consideration be made to make larger lots that fit better with other adjoining neighborhoods?
The proposed lot sizes are generally smaller than the lot sizes of surrounding homes. Lot sizes could be a point of negotiation for Conditional Zoning.
What happens to the five existing houses on the property?
They will be demolished.
What will become of the bears and other animals living on the property now?
It’s difficult to know exactly what will happen, but at the least, they will be pushed to move to other areas if their habitat is destroyed.
Is HCCA open to some form of development or does it oppose all new development in Haw Creek?
When Mountain Housing Opportunities proposed the Laurel Bridge apartments on Whitson Road in Haw Creek, HCCA leaders endorsed the complex and actively supported this project. Additionally, in recent years there have been several smaller scale subdivisions built in Haw Creek with no opposition. In fact, this is the first community-wide opposition to a proposed development since the 1990s when 104 apartments were proposed for a site on Avon Road, across the street from the existing 252-unit Haw Creek Mews. On this site today, instead of 104 apartments, sits Haw Creek Park, a well-loved community asset. This was the outcome last time an out-of-scale project was proposed for Haw Creek.