Form Based Code coming to the River Arts District

City of Asheville seeking Form Based Code Consultant to supersede entirely or in part current zoning in the River Arts District

January 12, 2015 - City of Asheville issues RFP for "Form Based Code Project: River Arts District"
February 16, 2015 - Deadline for submissions
March 13, 2015 - Selection complete
April 16, 2015 - Commencement of Project

Summary from the City of Asheville: up to 1,000,000 square feet to be built out
"The City’s economic development office developed the Riverside Drive Development Plan, a re-use strategy for ten acres of publically owned land in the middle of the district. The plan envisions significant new commercial and residential build-out (350,000 to 1,000,000 square feet) and considers form, but current zoning and development regulations do not support its recommendations. Throughout the district, the presence of the flood plain, known and unknown contamination issues, and the adjacency to the railroad ROW presents serious development constraints. A new, form based code will need to address these issues."
The RFP is no longer online but if you would like a copy, please email us and we can send it to you.

12 Stakeholders chosen by City to give input through interviews
As part of the "Scope of the Project" the "selected Consultant will interview up to 12 designated stakeholders (from a list provided by city staff)"

$100,000 Budget for this Project

Proposed Form Based Code Boundary (click to enlarge):

In short, this includes all properties along the French Broad River from Amboy Road northward, across Patton Avenue on Emma Road, to a section just past Atkinson St (map is not very clear).

Also includes parts of the communities lying east of the French Broad into Depot St, Clingman, Livingston.

Why is the City considering this? Public sector involvement in real estate
To increase the square footage of develop-able land. Refer to the Riverfront Redevelopment Plan, pgs 17 - 20.
"Fundamentally, property development is an area where government has very little positive to contribute. Government cannot accurately forecast future economic conditions, as the New London-Pfizer situation demonstrates, and public officials have far less expertise in real estate development than private sector investors. Moreover, land-use restrictions such as zoning distort the real estate markets and are often used to justify public-sector involvement in real estate, as the private sector isn’t capable of fighting city hall—or so the story goes."  (click to read article: The Dangerous Minds of Urban Planners)
Pros and Cons of Form Based Code
As you know Form Based Code was approved in the area of West Asheville along Haywood Road (click here to read articles) which largely received positive approval from the community.  As of 2014, there are currently a little over 400 form based code communities nationwide. However, this is a relatively new form of zoning which should be reviewed and while the pros always get the spotlight, there are cons.

More on this as we get it.

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