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Please comment on the following considerations for neighborhood-compatible, small-scale residential infill development.

Thank you for participating!

Open City Hall topic outcome: Infill housing opportunities

This topic ran July 11 to Sept. 1, 2016. It had 583 visitors and 413 responses: 220 registered responses and 193 unregistered responses. That's 20.7 hours of public comment @ 3 minutes per response.

Survey questions

Consideration: Reduce minimum lot area and lot width by 20%

Response Percent

Response Count

Yes, this is reasonable

63.0%

138

No, I don’t like it

26.9%

59

Not sure/need more information

10.0%

22

Do you have a comment about the potential of reducing minimum lot areas and widths by 20%?

Answered

76

Skipped

144

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Consideration: Establish lot area averaging

Response Percent

Response Count

Yes, this is reasonable

65.0%

143

I don’t like it

26.8%

59

Not sure/need more information

8.2%

18

Would you like to make a comment about the potential for establishing lot area averages?

Answered

56

Skipped

164

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Consideration: Incentivize duplexes

Response Percent

Response Count

Yes, this is reasonable

66.4%

144

No, I don’t like it

26.7%

58

Not sure/need more information

6.9%

15

Would you like to make a comment about the potential to incentivize duplexes?

Answered

60

Skipped

160

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Consideration: Incentivize multifamily

Response Percent

Response Count

Yes, this is reasonable

49.3%

108

No, I don’t like it

32.9%

72

Not sure/need more information

17.8%

39

Would you like to make a comment about the potential to incentivize multifamily?

Answered

66

Skipped

154

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Consideration: Require design compatibility for all multifamily

Response Percent

Response Count

Yes, this is reasonable

71.9%

156

No, I don’t like it

12.4%

27

Not sure/need more information

15.7%

34

Open-ended questions

Would you like to make a comment about the potential to require design compatibility for all multifamily?

Answered: 69

Skipped: 151

Word cloud generated from the responses to this question:

think s design multi family homes Asheville parking lots t property owners new could must much see character sure street trees does lot building most tooRequiring front Setbacks like reasonable elements just good do who Montford standards all more what compatibility etc 
housing Historic review compatible agree requirements stylebuildings standard entrances very single roof neighborhoods neighborhood need important require requirement case development some 
other essential Please existing look makeany

Responses:

In general, I think it's best not to impose overly rigid design guidelines on multi-family homes here in Asheville. This includes parking for tenants. Many of the lots in Asheville, including many of the remaining open lots, are irregularly shaped and can't accommodate a parking area for tenants at the back of the property. Current owners looking to add rentable units to their lots or individuals hoping to build new multi-family homes could be stymied by regulations/laws that dictate that parking lots/areas must only be behind the dwelling. I'd much prefer to see a variety of parking options allowed for multi-family homes here in Asheville.

It shouldn't have to be cookie-cutter design, though; there are ways to have "character" without being hodge-podge in design.

not sure about the parking and driveways

Funny that you would include a picture of the Ontario as an example of planting of street trees when this unit does not have anyone parking in the back of the lot due to inadequate parking lot definition and adverse conditions

There are already many different building styles in most areas.

Dictating too much of the design would be stifling to developers/home owners. Requiring where the parking is to be located is too restrictive. Requiring that there must be a front porch is is too restrictive. Setbacks and buiding mass seem like reasonable design elements.

Absolutely reasonable. Most design accommodations can be accomplished without a large increase in cost - just good design. I do not know who would decide on individual projects (groups like the Montford Historical Association are notoriously inconsistent), but reasonable standards could be developed and applied fairly.

Where multifamily is permitted and appropriate, there should not be added barriers put in place.

If in Montford must follow all HRC guidelines

Additional building necessarily results in more impervious surfaces which impacts our groundwater. Consider requiring pervious asphalt or similar driveway material to facilitate natural run-off and prevent storm water overloads on drainage systems.

I think this is an absolute necessity.

While preserving community character seems a worthwhile goal in theory, getting a workable consensus on what does and does not achieve "design compatibility" will be a challenge. Metrics related to height, setbacks, frontages, etc. can be accommodated in a zoming code.

See comments about strain on infrastructure that needs to be addressed before we worry about this.

I thought this discussion was about removing barriers to small in fill housing and not adding obstructions. Yes in Historic Districts review and approval is needed.

I think people who live in the city generally like more density, as long as it's attractive and compatible with what already is there.

I agree there should be requirements for aesthetics such as plantings to block view of parking areas and garbage recepticles, however AVL is a creative, inventive city and it would be preferable to allow that to be reflected in its architecture rather than cookie cutters of "bungalow" style houses.

While I agree in principle with more thoughtfully designed buildings of all types, I do not generally trust the ability of design standards to establish compatibility. Far too often they are used as an exclusionary zoning tool rather than a standard that facilitates compatible infill housing. Compatibility does not mean homogeneity, but sensible diversity. I have seen plenty of buildings with multiple front entrances that are very compatible with surrounding historic single-family houses, as well as buildings with alternate roof styles that are compatible. It seems much more a factor of the individual site constraints and immediately adjacent neighbors. Maybe the city could offer a non-binding design review process instead of setting design standards that will just incentivize builders to find loopholes. I think most builders will want their small scale multifamily projects to be as compatible as possible with surrounding single-family neighborhoods and would utilize a service to help do that.

Aesthetics must match the neighborhood!

No need to regulate... Allow all designs

height restrictions are very important or multi unit structures can block the sun for surrounding homes, planting is great but not if required to be larger due to cost

This is excellent!

Definitely require off-street parking. Perhaps material requirements -- no one wants a bunch of cinderblock buildings in their neighborhood. I would not recommend a front porch requirement, as it can increase the noise in neighborhoods (many renters are young and childless and therefore keep later outdoor hours).

Parking requirement should be handled on a case-by-case basis, and subject to lot configuration & access. Staff should be flexible, but onsite parking should be strongly encouraged for all in-fill development.

I like some of the compatibility ideas, but would support other ideas, such as lower level garage parking or possibly underground parking

In conjunction with the above suggestion.

This is essential.

Let the market dictate. Don't limit creativity

I'm not sure requiring parking in the back is necessary. Some sites might be fine for parking on the side for example and then adding shrubs or trees so neighbors aren't looking at a parking lot.

Should be reasonable

Some designs standards seems very reasonable.

Please please remember that trees take many years to mature! I think that all new building should be subject to some design consideration. I also would love to see a tree ordinance that protects trees of a certain age or size.

How boring

Design elements should be in keeping with existing structures--massing and height very important

Things like planting and trees are a good idea, but turn out to be empty promises (see the grove in Montford - a few sad trees that mostly died). the actual scale and character of the project needs to fit.

An absolute necessity to protect existing property owners from cheap, speculative development with the potential to destabilize neighborhoods and damage existing property values.

Whatever Joe Minicozzi says, do it

Both of these sound like a very good idea.

Design compatibility should be case by case. I am not comfortable with generic rules.

This is reasonable, as it makes a neighborhood look better, which would make the residents more likely to keep up their property.

must include trees or tree plantings covering 20% of the lot.

In the older neighborhoods of Asheville, new infill must match the character of the existing construction. Asheville's older housing stock should not feel like a throwback when infill comes to the neighborhood.

okay for parking, setbacks, trees, etc; not for design of building itself

I would love to see a standard requiring a minimum number of trees to be planted. Infilling is taking out many stands of trees.

New structures should be compatible with existing homes: scale, materials, setbacks, parking, etc.

This must be a requirement in single family neighborhoods

requiring parking behind reduces buildable street level access and just makes the project more costly for very minor asthetics improvement.

Absolutely! Require (as much as the state law allows) parking in the rear, primary entrances on the street, windows and entrances facing the street, no blank walls on the street frontage, Built-to-lines to create a consistent street frontage, etc. The interface between the public and private realms is the key to great neighborhoods.

Very important to have and enforce stringent design requirements

It's not clear what this means. Does it mean a standard design for new construction or requirements for modifying existing housing?

Require passive solar and other smart, easy green building techniques, and require only low maintenance, no- water yards -- or require rainwater systems for yards that need water. Please don't require or encourage faux Arts and Crafts style or faux Victorian any other faux styles; they just look sad and second-rate--no matter how much they cost to build.

This is an essential component of this proposed series of changes.

I agree that there should be some design standards, particularly related to parking, plantings, size and objective (e.i easily measurable) considerations. However, I am strongly against the standards including any design requirements (such as front porch, roof style, location of entrances, or any other subjective standards). Asheville is known for its creativity and uniqueness and instituting any restrictions on new designs would hurt this reputation. Homes in historic neighborhoods are already under design protection, and additional reviews would make multifamily development less appealing to potential owners/developers.

I would not suggest an insurmountable number of restrictions, but a reasonable amount so that curb appeal is maintained and there is off-street parking

Certain design elements could create unwarranted costs for construction...especially for sites challenged by topography

Agree that site plan review is beneficial (entrance location, parking location, street trees, etc). Architectural style is subjective and will be a barrier to projects getting built.

Would need very clearly defined design guidelines. Too much room for interpretation depending on who is sitting on review at the time. Can already see this in Montford where one home can use vinyl snap in windows in historic district with no historic detailing and have no offstreet parking even though the homes are clearly more than a mile from city edge... all up to who is looking at what and when...no standard.

Would want to make sure that "design elements" don't restrict architectural expression. Buildings should have leeway to explore different architectural expressions to enrich the tapestry of the downtown area.

Quantifiable and consistently applied design standards make a lot of sense on mulit-family. "Roof style" and other aesthetic design requirements are very subjective and should not be city's role.

Being too stylistically specific could end up enforcing awkward or inappropriate design elements, and limit good design diversity within the city.

Very limited design standards can improve appearance, but too many will only result in significant additional costs that will dis-incentivize multi-family developments.

This is a GREAT idea and should be used FIRST AND FOREMOST on environmental, ecological, and social justice issues. I mean, to make sure it "looks pretty" even while it rots our culture from the inside would be immoral and antithetical to the SOP, not to mention ecological needs. Again, we need REQUIRED DESIGN COMPATIBILITY FOR STRONG ECOLOGICAL DESIGN STANDARDS. This means passive solar design, solar orientation, stormwater/rainwater/runnoff catchment, garden and greenspace, and healthy building materials.

Design standards should be tailored to the character of each neighborhood and not blanket throughout the City.

Design compatibility will vary depending on the neighborhood. For example, development in designated historic neighborhoods should have stringent requirements to preserve existing character.

Parking is essential for multi family, design elements to blend with single family look and feel is important to maintain the character of Asheville

Parking is essential for multi family, design elements to blend with single family look and feel is important to maintain the character of Asheville

yes, but how qualified are the city departments to make aesthetic determinations? Ask local architects too please.

I do think this is needed, but it is a bit tricky in regards to who determines what roof style, etc. is desirable/undesirable.

I think standards for parking make sense, less so the aesthetics of the building.

fit standards to the neighborhood context...not all neighborhoods are the same in Asheville. Parking to rear but again we need to look at the reality of our topography...some multi family units might not work on sloped sites. Also get rid of the no onsite parking requirement within a mile of CBD. In today's Asheville most have cars and guests. In town neighborhoods have particularly narrow streets and few sidewalks. We can't accommodate on-street parking.

Are there other considerations you would like to suggest?

Answered: 78

Skipped: 142

Word cloud generated from the responses to this question:

current ADU standards must dwelling size What ability build two homes lot than large home small smaller example see more tiny communities Asheville goinghousing people houses increase They all out one short term then take them minimum RESIDENTS DEVELOPERS who neighborhood s long need being over builtmoney were from time any fire parking cars does water limits area per code trees infill other cities while having reduce just side lower unit density single family areas costs taxcharacter development provide maintain infrastructure streets utilities needs further neighborhoods support required such local Allow properties like do want house newbefore green open space every some available land additional even requirements Please consider could changes only change make use made building lots require ordercommunity how well t urban accommodate etc where too impact so living within off street 1 allowed add units way affordable also think programs own into Based using help lessFamilies 2 great create which traffic low multi Better existing property buildings look project develop plan flag enough much Different might very residential SIMPLE styles compatibilityreally

Responses:

With the current ADU standards, there must be a main dwelling with an ADU a percentage of the size of the primary dwelling. What if we offered the ability for someone to build two equally sized homes on a lot? Rather than a large home and a small ADU, what about two smaller homes at, for example, 500 square feet each?

I would love to see more tiny homes and zero lot line communities in Asheville.

Incentivize tiny homes.

This is not going to alleviate the housing shortage, this is going to let people build mini hotels next to their houses to increase their income. They will all be rented out on one of multiple short term rental sites. People list their homes on Thursday then take them down during the week. The description is for a one month minimum rental, but they point out there is no penalty to break the lease.

Thank you for considering public input on this important matter. RESIDENTS' input on these issues is far more important that that of DEVELOPERS - who have ulterior motives (generally, short term profit), not necessarily in line with the neighborhood's long term existance or environment. And City Council is accountable to the City's voting citizens, for the long term.

I realize the need for housing, however being a native of a state that over built all in the name of housing and money, towns were destroyed, communities were destroyed and more importantly the state was destroyed. I worked 15 miles from my home - my commute time 45 minutes! This or worse is what you will bring to Asheville if you proceed with these plans.

Have you given any thought to the need for more infra structure, services, the added burden to our schools, police, fire, EMS? What about parking for the added cars. Roads in Haw Creek are substandard at best and adding more cars is a recipe for disaster.

My main concern is that Asheville does not have any regulations in place for the following: storm water reductions policies including limits on maximum impervious surface area per plot, a code to protect trees, codes to insure that infill does not flood surrounding area. As other cities have found, encouraging infill while not having codes to reduce or eliminate stormwater pollution or flooding is dangerous.

Incentivize vertical duplexes, not just side-by-side duplexes, with the provision that flooring be designed to minimize noise to the lower unit.

Seeking greater density in single family areas to reduce housing costs is a flawed approach. This seems from all indications to be a scheme to gain short term tax base increases while damaging the character of Asheville neighborhood's. Growth and greater development is not a money grab. It comes with the responsibility to provide and maintain appropriate infrastructure in streets, sanitation, utilities, and public safety. The city is not meeting those needs adequately now, further density at the expense of neighborhoods further leverages an inferior support structure. State legislative action may be required to prevent such poor stuardship by local government.

I am not a proponent of intensifying the density of housing in this fashion. Allow those limited properties that would like to do apply for exception, rather than allowing blanket approval for pop up housing.

I enjoy seeing trees and greenery when looking out the window i dont want to see house and concrete and house and concrete. The electrical utilities are having problems servicing the current number of houses thats why they wanted to bring in that new power line from the Oconee Nuke plant. We already need a restriction that a house needs to be removed from the grid before a new one is built.

Requirement of green/open space per every 10th lot or certain infill...remember to preserve some space, keep an eye on the future and control group

Put sidewalks and bike lanes on Old Haw Creek Road and on New Haw Creek Road.

Not every available piece of land is a candidate for additional housing even if the lot size meets the requirements. Please consider the lay of the land, soil types and elevations. We could be solving one problem while creating another.

If we do this, we have to include some guidelines to discourage predatory behavior from investors and developers who may not have the interests of the neighborhood or of lower/middle income folks at heart. Displacing people should be avoided at all costs.

Neighborhoods that already meet current density requirements should be handled more carefully or they may be lost altogether. They should not bear the brunt of these changes because they are full of middle class folks rather than wealthier people whose neighborhoods are not meeting current density as it is. The responsibility for creating housing cannot fall on only some neighborhoods.

If approved, this change will probably lead to felling of many trees, some large. Provide incentives to keep trees of larger sizes. 
If approved, this change will increase our stormwater runoff and flooding. Provide incentives to keep stormwater on site. 
If approved, this change will increase strain on aging infrastructure. Please make sure to use the additional tax revenue for infrastructure maintenance.

In Asheville topography has always made home building challenging. As everywhere, the easiest, most straightforward lots were built on earliest, leaving problematic lots, whether because of topography, geometry or drainage, to the future. Many of these lots we now have have such problems. Please require surveys for these lots in order to prevent trouble for builders, buyers or the community.

Overall, this discussion is a crucial one. And staff should be congratulated on how well they've organized background info and how hard they're working to invite community engagement. My only nitpick is that there doesn't seem to be recognition that, historically, urban neighborhoods accommodate a range of metrics (including setbacks, building heights, lot sizes, etc.), often depending on where they fit in a continuum from the densest urban core to the farther-out 'burbs, (The Transect, in New Urbanist terms). A lot of this discussion feels too focused on one-size-fits-all approaches for all city neighborhoods, regardless of where they fall in that urban-to-suburban continuum. Am I overstating that impression?

Again, discussions about the strain on infrastructure and social impact of so many people living within the city limits is the first point of discussion. Can and how will the City of Asheville handle this type of influx? We've seen to many examples of development within city limits with inadequate infrastructure considerations. Moving ahead like this is crazy.

The picture that you have shown (above right) shows required off street parking at 124 Montford Ave. It is within 1 mile of the CBD so no off street parking is required. It has a huge flat open field next to it that the City of Asheville prevents any use of. They are not allowed to even remove a unit from the building and add one on the big empty wasted space and can not add a unit because it already exceeds zoning for allowed units. It is such a waste that big flat empty lot with all utilities available just blocks from down town can not be used in any way.

First, I highly recommend supporting more progressive kinds of housing - such as dorm-like living and co-operatively owned housing projects. These are inherently more affordable. Housing co-ops are quite common in NYC and dorm-living is becoming increasingly popular in places like SF and the bay area of California. Dorms could be designed with today's lifestyles in mind - many more people are single and childless (in part because their kids are grown and gone) and enjoy having the company of others around in shared common areas while also having ample private space.

I also strongly urge you to think more in terms of overall community development, versus just housing units. Most everyone agrees, "It takes a village to raise a child." Well how about creating small village centers within every larger neighborhood? Each village center could have small businesses (such as a cafe, grocery store, hardware store, sitting park, etc.) plus a community center - for neighborhood meetings and clubs, a day care, after school programs, senior programs, senior-student mentor programs, a library, etc. and a nearby community garden for people to grow their own food. It takes a village for people of every age, stage and ability to thrive.

Going beyond housing and into overall community development, please, please, please study and use Assets-Based-Community-Development (ABCD) strategies to support projects within neighborhoods. It has been shown that using city funds to help people improve their neighborhoods actually costs the city less, because it can leverage funds. Please read these two books. 1) The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods by John McKnight and Peter Block (2010). 2) Neighbor Power: Building Community the Seattle Way by Jim Diers (2004). Both are about ABCD.

In addition to ABCD, it would be great to help each neighborhood (whether they currently have an HMO or not) to implement sociocracy aka Dynamic Self Governance - an organizational structure that would allow them to make decisions with lots of participation and equality. There are excellent local trainers for that, notably Diana Leafe Christian (diana.leafe.christian@gmail.com). Using these two tools over time, just a few people within each neighborhood can be empowered to catalyze their neighborhoods of mostly strangers into caring, collaborative communities.

Once a neighborhood is organized and empowered by these two tools, it can co-create solutions to all kinds of local issues, from feeding families (via community gardens) to educating youth (via community-based learning programs that engage seniors), supporting seniors to stay in their homes longer, enhancing local economy, making life more walkable for all which increases health and reduces pollution as well as traffic, creating sharing solutions (sharing cars, having a tool-lending library, etc.). As the great systems thinker Margaret Wheatley said, "Whatever the problem, community is the answer."

Last, please consider contacting me about the group I volunteer for, Culture Change for Aging Network (CCAN-WNC) which is exploring how elders can Age in Community - by using these two tools (ABCD and Dynamic Self Governance) in such a way as to benefit all the generations. We are teaching a course this fall (for the 2nd time) at the UNCA Reuter Center (via the Osher Life-long Learning Institute or OLLI) called Aging in Community. While it's geared for older people, we see these folks as the "low hanging fruit" of potential catalyzers within their neighborhoods. While they are motivated to organize their multi-generational neighborhoods for their own benefit, clearly doing so would benefit everyone living there - for generations to come; truly a legacy worth giving.

Please require surveys of entire lots upon sale or subdivision. Locating the four corners of a lot is not sufficient. Surveys should locate slopes, water courses, culverts, trees over a certain size that should be flagged for preservation if possible.

Incentivize moving outside of the already full areas. Better, more reliable transport to outlying areas, it would ease the burden on utilities - which are already stretched in many places, more green space - which is at a premium in some areas and is too easily ignored by developers and cities in need of income.

Not only do we need better infrastructure, we also need regulation oversight. I live in a fairly new neighborhood in west asheville where residences aren't being built safely and there is no one to stop them.

The city needs to consider how to homeowners can finance adding additional small units and multi-family unites onto their existing property. It's not easy to get financing for small units, and many people don't have the funding to pay for it themselves, or to finance a duplex or triplex. Only big developers have that money. If the city is able to financially encourage (tax breaks) or provide financing for residents to add infill housing onto their property this will prevent AVL land from being eaten up by outside investors.

My biggest concern is making sure that these developments fit into the neighborhood and are not cheap, pre-fab buildings that will lower the property value.Will there be a department or group that will monitor and approve plans? I feel like the guidelines on the type and look of buildings need to better explained for me to understand the benefits/disadvantages of this project.

smaller homes in general

Existing Planned Communities need to be grandfathered and need to be exempt from any new urban develop plan/ordinance change. Families made investments and relocated to these communities under an existing urban develop plan and existing planned community standards. This needs to be preserved.

Do not give our tax money to developers- they will build if it is profitable. We are growing as is.

The biggest item missing on your list has to do with lots where the placement of the primary residence on the lot limits further development. I would love to place two affordable homes on the back side of my lot, and there's sufficient space and access to utilities. However, because my home is in the front of the lot in the middle of the property on the short dimension, there is no room to develop a "flag", shotgun", or "pin" lot. I would need to be able to build a driveway that borders my neighbor to access the back side of my lot in order to provide access. If I granted that driveway to the city, then I wouldn't have enough property left to develop two homes.

They must all have porch swings and distribute ham sandwiches on Sunday

Yes! Especially in the chestnut hills and surrounding areas. Streets are tight with vehicles parked on both sides on many of them. And some streets have parking only on one side do to their size. I'm concerned if in these areas we allow for larger building and duplexes etc.. Not only does the building height/size effect the look of the neighborhood, there is just not enough room for more vehicles.

Rather than encouraging so much infill and subdividing of other properties, I would like to see the city take advantage of properties that are already available. For example, the Lee Walker Heights development should be redesigned to accommodate more housing units. Different types of buildings could be available including a multistory condominium building which would use less land. The development could further be distinguished by housing for seniors, housing for single people, and housing for families so that different structures are available to meet the needs of different people. For example, families might need more space around their homes for children to play while seniors might prefer peace and quiet and require less outdoor space for activity. The current Lee Walker Heights project is a poor use of valuable property.

Set up a trust fund for low-income | elderly | disabled existing homeowners to allow them to remain in their homes by providing low or no-cost loans for repairs & maintenance.

These are great bandaids but seem to miss the point that there is housing to be had...just not at rental prices that regular, working families can afford. It doesn't matter if my neighbor builds an extra 2br house on his land if he's going to charge $1800/MO for it.

More detail needed. Who approves. Excessive detail like HRC requirements is too controlling

Thank you for considering all these different ways to allow people to build smaller homes on smaller lots. I strongly believe that urban infill is a much better option than developing open or wild lands. Thanks!

Again, I am not exactly clear on the correlation between neighborhood in filling and affordable housing. I would hate to see hastily built units constructed throughout our neighborhoods in order to cash in on Asheville's popularity, while ignoring the very real issues of affordability and environmental destruction. I am concerned that this plan might be opening doors to development that might later be regretted.

Move to anywhere USA if you want cookie cutter homes on postage stamp lots.

Shrinking lots reduce ability to buffer stream edges and maintain tree cover

Do these allow for the use/placement/development of tiny homes in Asheville? Allowing some tiny homes to be set up permanently would increase housing for a small segment of the population as well...

When the lot size reductions are considered for all cases listed above an additional consideration that should be applied to all the options is to require the homes and residential units meet green build energy reduction standards with HERS ratings of 60 or possibly a max of 70. This would be an inducement for property owners to minimize overall energy consumption even with the increased density. Check with the WNC Green Building Council they have great programs that reduce energy consumption.

If the city could offer incentives for maintaining mature tree canopy cover that would help mitigate the impact of increased density.

It would be great if the city could add some additional requirements in exchange for any of these allowances. For example, Greenbuilt NC silver level certification or better would be one way to make sure that the living units are going above the bare minimum in terms of environmental footprint, site sustainability, and liveability. If we're going to build more densely (and I think we should because it involves a lot of inherent efficiencies), making sure that building stock is sitting more efficiently on the site is important.

Raise taxes

Asheville needs more affordable housing, but it must come with some protections for existing neighborhoods and property owners. An onslaught of cheap, speculative development can destabilize neighborhoods and hurt the City's tax base. Providing code requirements to compensate for lost green space by adding neighborhood pocket parks financed with impact fees for developers or set asides in the city budget and non-voluntary design guidelines are provisions that would give residents more confidence that this magnitude of development can be properly managed. Other cities have these things.Why not us? How about building a trigger into the zoning code revisions that requires individually funded neighborhood infrastructure improvement funds be in place before the new code can be applied in a particular neighborhood. It can be funded by developers, the city, residents or any combination of the above.

Until the city becomes an investor in buying property like Kmart on Patton and building affordable housing at genuinely affordable levels, the crisis will continue. Use the bond money, and for God's sake make the stimulus big enough to make a meaningful difference. Market-based solutions by themselves aren't good enough. Asheville needs to be a model city for innovative solutions, not another mono-economy vulnerable to recessions.

I hope you are also discussing limiting tear downs to replace with multi family housing. Lots that currently hold one house may not have the municipal infrastructure to accommodate multiple units and there are traffic and parking considerations as well.

In fill is a great way to take advantage of existing infrastructure such as water, sewer, roads, schools, instead of having to extend these further out into undeveloped land. All in favor of this. Also in favor of smaller houses being built where possible as infill.

More residential concentration within Asheville is better than spreading out houses into land that should be orchards and farmland.

Of the many attractions that Asheville offers homeowners is the unique character that green space provides. Why is it that reducing that space is even being considered? Perhaps this is good for the developers and real estate businesses but for current property owners, who are interested in the long-term quality of life that they have purchased and are paying taxes to maintain, the continued trend of incrementally developing green spaces is certainly not what they have invested in nor are interested in perpetuating.

While reductions in lot requirements are a good idea, I feel the proposed changes are extreme.

The residential roads that have to bear the extra traffic because of the in-fill residences must be wide enough (not single lane, like many are) and well maintained.

I realize that Asheville's population is growing. The job of the City of Asheville's government should be to control that growth. The increase in housing density should not out pace the ability of our streets to comfortably handle the subsequent increase in traffic. I know that every new home built means more tax dollars for the city, and that probably trumps any other consideration, but cramming houses into any available space does not improve the quality of life here. No, I don't want the regulations changed to increase housing density even more.

New plans in Local historic districts should continue to be approved by the HRC. Asheville's historic districts need the context of the original designs and should not be compromised by density which alters architectural character. Open space in the landscape is also a design element.

Check into the ROI for infrastructure like sewerage, fire hydrants and water extensions. The increase in taxable base would in most cases payback the city for the installation in 1 year or less. We own property in City of Asheville limits that we plan to develop. The costs of these extensions cancelled a 6 unit townhomes project we had planned due to fixed costs/building costs exceeding market value for what the properties could be sold for.

Provide cash or in kind incentives (lower development and permitting fees) for builders/developers to build within lower price ranges, not reimbursements after completion.

FEE SIMPLE TOWNHOUSES!!! There seem to be limited opportunities for fee simple, attached dwelling types. Therefore, any duplex, triplex, quad, etc. is limited in it’s marketability to investors purchasing a whole building, someone buying a condo (with limited self determination in maintaining/using the lot, exterior), or renters. The current situation (if I’m reading it correctly) cuts out anyone who would like to buy a townhouse on a piece of land they own. This is a very appealing option for people who want to buy, but either can’t afford or don’t want to maintain a large yard (i.e. empty nesters, millennials, those with more urban preferences, etc.). Buying a condo townhouse is appealing to a much smaller percentage of people than a fee simple townhouse. In order to do this, the min. lot widths need to suit this building type (20-30 feet width) and the minimum lot size needs to be allowed to be parceled off into smaller sellable sizes: for example an 8,000 sf lot with a Quad to be divided into four 2,000 sf lots.

For sale, fee simple townhouses are the urban fabric of many great cities!

I own 12 rental properties in upstate SC. Smallest is 900 sq. ft. 2 BR / 2 bath. Rents for $650 / mo. Could probably get more but have a good, long term tenant. Tenant would have to pay $1,000 or more per month to rent the same property in Asheville. High housing cost coupled with low wages for service jobs will eventually kill the Asheville economy. How many hotel / restaurant workers does it take to rent a home in Asheville? Answer = too many!

I think this survey omits possible impact on green space, landscaping, trees, and wildlife. Also, there is little consideration of traffic, roads -- particularly where slopes, vegetation, and existing buildings often create blind spots. Adding more people and cars to an area will increase noise and pollution. The city should consider improving public transportation, so that people can easily commute from less crowded areas. If you add in off-street parking, then the lots will not have much green space.

Require passive solar and other smart, easy green building techniques, and require only low maintenance, no- water yards -- or require rainwater systems for yards that need water. Please don't require or encourage faux Arts and Crafts style or faux Victorian any other faux styles; they just look sad and second-rate--no matter how much they cost to build.

WHAT IS AN ASHEVILLE "FAMILY" ...? ? In North Asheville, we have homes not in compliance with Chapter 78, Code of Ordinances, Buncombe County: "Family means one or more persons occupying a single dwelling unit, provided that unless all members are related by blood or marriage," 
City of Asheville is somewhat more open... 
+ Dwelling, single-family means a building arranged or designed to be occupied by one family. 
+ Family: One or more persons living together and having common housekeeping facilities.

Infill housing and increased density is a great goal, but it will further burden an already strained infrastructure system. Sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike lanes are simple things that will enhance pedestrian activity and safety. Mass-transit, shuttles, and other multi-modal transportation opportunities are essential - especially after increasing the number of houses in the City.

This city is overwhelmed with cars, with streets too narrow already to accommodate all of the off street parking that is occurring currently. Perhaps focus could be on ways to remedy this, improve infrastructure to allow safe biking, walking and some transit that might alleviate the need for cars. Be realistic. A unit in multifamily by code should require 2-3 parking spaces, not one... Until our City has a way to manage growth, traffic and parking, it seems it would be wise to pause before trying to infill and alter City lots. Take a look at the majority of poorly constructed and poorly detailed homes being built in the City and multiply this with these changes...

I think new buildings should fit into the look and feel of an established neighborhood in terms of size and height, but we shouldn't limit a builder's ability to innovate and adopt more efficient practices like the use of alternative materials and energy infrastructure just because they haven't been done before. Planning for a more sustainable city is going to require questioning what's been done before. For example, parking is typically tucked behind a building to have it out of view, but this arrangement necessitates a driveway, which equates to hundreds of additional square feet of pavement per residence. Impermeable surfaces mean that groundwater isn't recharged at the natural rate and the city's wastewater systems are made to deal with storm water run-off. Reducing paved surfaces by allowing parking in front of residences, designing for shared driveways, or using permeable surfaces for parking would reduce the strain on city water infrastructure. Allowing (or requiring) smaller setbacks, front porches, and more diverse uses like home-based business uses could lead to more friendly communities as people spend more time outdoors and have more reasons to cross paths with their neighbors. Asheville should not let compatibility with historic norms get in the way of embracing the new green urbanism.

"Design" compatibility maybe misleading. Perhaps "Form" or "Scale" compatibility is more appropriate terminology. Compatibility for multifamily should be based on requirements that can be consistently enforceable - perhaps similar to form based code standards. Design compatibility for multifamily should not try to regulate more specific aesthetic standards or limit architectural styles. Unless in a historic district, roof styles, materials, traditional vs. modern architecture should not be regulated. A mix of styles in a neighborhood can add richness and character. Old and new architectural styles help tell the on going story of Asheville's development over the decades and generations. There are legal challenges to this in NC too: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/wake-county/article10209266.html

no increased density was one of the top things that neighborhoods that did Plan on a Page did not want, so we need to not allow short term and Adu's to be short term either. We also must think about using the Housing Trust fund to be used by residents that cannot afford to maintain the upkeep on their houses. What is happening in some neighborhoods close to town is that they are being forced to sell, the new owners are tearing down the old home and replacing it with over $400,000 houses and gentrifying the older neighborhoods. WE must get creative without doing damage to the community we all cherish.

I believe garage apts and stand alone ADU's should be allowed in all residential districts in addition to attached basement apartments.

1. City staff indicated that the Flexible Development Ordinance would be eliminated in conjunction with these proposed changes. I believe some form of flexible development standards will still be needed to address unique situations. One example is to define how to allow subdivision of lots that front public streets on opposite ends (i.e., "through-lots"). Another example is how to address triangular-shaped lots that only contain three sides. 
2. The proposed changes are better than nothing. However, the net result will be subdivided lots developed almost exclusively with one, large single-family home per lot. I'll bet the proposed changes will result in zero new multi-family projects and fewer than 5 ADUs or duplexes (of which I intend to build 1 or 2 if reduced lot area allows me to subdivide my oversized lots). 
3. The City loves to create yet another zoning change de jour, yet never creates a mechanism to assess if the changes made a difference. If you cannot tell if a change works, then you're just faking it, and wasting time and taxpayers' money in the process. Incorporate an assessment mechanism. 
4. If the City really wants to incentivize multi-family development of the "missing-middle" type, then development of one single-family home per new subdivided lot must concurrently be dis-incentivized. 
5. It makes sense that more than 2 residential units in a single building is classified as a multi-family development subject to commercial building code standards. But it does not make sense that more than 2 detached single-family residences on one parcel is interpreted as also being a commercial multi-family project, especially if they meet the minimum fire separation distances required for conventional one and two-family dwelling construction. For example, why must three tiny houses on a large lot be required to contain fire sprinkling systems just because three units on one parcel is considered a commercial project. That's just stupid! I encourage the City's Chief Building Code Official to request, or at least support, a formal interpretation from the North Carolina Department of Insurance on this topic.

There is so much development wealth and gentrification coming into this city at this very moment. It will not be a "burden" to build green, clean, and lean - it will be an opportunity that will still be very accessible to the wealth that is coming through. This is a time to *really step forward* to create - actually create, here and now - the incredible, progressive city that we really need ALL CITIES TO BECOME in order to move through the ecological crisis we are in.

I invite you to have the will to CREATE HERE AND NOW a new style where all new buildings are required to be ready for green grid access or environmental considerations.

Please consider making the Steep Slope Areas more development friendly. 
The one size fits all guideline is very limiting. 
Even if steep slopes guidelines were 20% more forgiving it would help. 
Thank you

Reduce flag lot requirements in line with 20% reduction in area/frontage. Include flag area in the size of the lot to make it viable, along with reduced frontage width. This will make currently "land locked" lots more accessible for development.

Address the width dimensions for flag lots pro rata with the 20% reduction in lot size/frontage. Consider eliminating the size of the "flag' being eliminated from the lot size to encourage density.

I would need to study zoning categories, but the infill becomes a problem when homeowners are suddenly unexpectedly living amidst dwellers who are less grounded and more irresponsible about property and neighborliness. It's not the buildings as much as the tenants who create friction.

Entrances on separate facades of the building?

Had city hall not been asleep the last 3 years and had not allowed the city character to be overrun by developers, and actively preserved green spaces by modifying the UDO in areas where certain density criteria were met, things would be different. I suggest city hall support asheville culture and character and stop over filling the city with development and road congestion with appropriate changes to the UDO. I suggest city council reconsider the current UDO and make new development slightly more difficult in areas with heavy density. I suggest city hall consider the impact of more density on road traffic. I suggest city hall reconsider the impact Asheville's recent stewards have made on our current culture, aka Julian Price, and ask themselves if they want it to be ruined by out of town developers looking for a buck versus locals looking to preserve and protect. Asheville will thrive with slow growth. Fast development leads to overheat and bad long term choices. Pull your heads into alignment with your heart and base.

I wholeheartedly support these proposals. My only recommended tweak, admittedly an esoteric one, would be to list the minimum lot sizes rounded to hundredths of an acre (not square feet) in the UDO, so as to be consistent with the way that Buncombe County Land Records lists lot size. In my opinion, this would reduce confusion and make the math, and hence the customer experience, simpler for those hoping to pursue infill.

We really really need to assess our ability to accommodate added density - look at streets, parking, water, trash pickup (and cart storage - lots of apts keep them on the street blocking traffic all week) stormwater (huge and growing problem) schools, police, fire, etc. etc.