Is, um, leeway. Um, typically for like a residential type structure, oftentimes may require a little bit more modification to an interior layout where it's not quite as character defining is what we call it in historic preservation term, where they may allow you to make changes to an interior layout where there are some structures where the interior layout, let's say like city hall, for example, um, where the interior layout is, is critical to the, to what is character defining of the building. Um, and so they may, the parks may review, you know, the slightly differently, but there's not any is like the amount of texts, proudest tax credits available to you. It's the exact same review process, regardless of what your proposed, um, renovation projects may be. I'm not sure. Um, Ms. Levi, if that helps answer your question. Yes. That helped. I think my question was like about the scope and you answered it. Thank you. Okay.
Any other questions or comments from the commissioners at this point? Um, one quick one, I might've missed it. Was there any improvements along the side streets? Um, as far as the walk-ability or the sidewalks, um, that I, um, I'm just concerned because having walked that block, those were very small and narrow streets. And is that part of the plan to prove that?
Yeah, so the, the really enhanced, um, sidewalk realm or, or pedestrian realm will be on Charlotte street, but it will also be pretty significant on East Chestnut. They're also proposing a wider sidewalk in East Chestnut that where you have that sort of ground level, uh, commercial, um, level, they really kind of enhance that, that sidewalk zone to kind of create that more walkable environment. As you transition back into the neighborhood where the scale of the buildings, the density of the buildings start to kind of drop, um, then it transitions into a more traditional sidewalk, um, either using the existing sidewalk infrastructure or connecting with, um, with new sidewalk, but then it'll probably be more your typical five foot or whatever the pattern is in the area.
Um, it's typical for 10 minutes to be allowed for the applicant and three minutes per person for the public. Uh, these time limits are not hard to fast and have often been flexible depending on the complexity of the project and the authority of the person speaking and the disability of the person speaking and so forth. Um, I will ask the applicant to be as succinct as possible, but I think given the size and nature of this project, it justifies some additional time. And at this point I will turn it over to the applicant.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman members of the commission, uh, appreciate very much the opportunity to be in front of you tonight with, um, my clients, uh, the, uh, the Kilian family, Fran and, uh, Hugh and his brother, Frank, I'm sure we're all here. Uh, with me today are architects from McMillan past and Smith. Lindsey Roden is the lead architect. Uh, Chris day from civil design concepts is also here. They had assembled, um, one of the best design teams available in Western North Carolina to transform this project, uh, this valuable, important block in North Asheville. And then the city of Asheville, our vision will transform it in a very positive way from a site that is mostly, uh, just quiet non-public nonactivated to an activated, vibrant, exciting part of our community. That we'll all be proud of for the next 100 years, but I do want to talk, we've already spent some time on it, but I want to show you some pictures so that you understand where we're coming from on these homes, if you would turn to the next slide.
Okay. So I described earlier that, uh, Dr. Kilian came here in the 1970s. Uh, thank you. And he needed an office. He was an eye doctor and he was the first eye doctor to do laser surgery in Western, North Carolina. And he wanted an office that was in, uh, in an area that was accessible to the interstate <inaudible>, uh, and not far from the hospital. And he bought, uh, the, the, one of these older homes that is kind of right on the line between the orange and the blue they're right on Chesca and he added onto it. Um, and it became his office, uh, until he passed away tragically in 1998, he also bought up the existing older homes on the site. He bought the astral arms, uh, apartment complex that you see there in the bottom right corner, which by the way, has 56 units. They're in the process of renovating those units and upgrading the building.
They're going to replace the roof. They're going to make it look better than it does now, but it is highly functional workforce housing. Uh, you can check the, uh, the, the rates of, of the, uh, of the apartments there and, and it's, uh, it's very popular. Um, and it's, it's, it's pretty affordable as a result of his age and condition. It was built in the sixties, but he also bought, uh, these other 12 homes, uh, five along Charlotte street that I'll show you in a minute, five along Bayer, and then two up on Fermin, all of which had already been cut up into smaller apartments. Next slide, please. These are four of the five homes on Charlotte street and from a distance, yes, they are interesting homes and you can see why there, they are contributing structures in the national historic registry. They're not unique. We have a number of comparable architecture homes that have been preserved all over Asheville, not only North Asheville, but they they're interesting, but, but next slot,
But by the time Dr. Kilian bought them, you can see on the upper left corner, those, those, there are eight electrical meters on the back of that. That means there's eight different living units inside there. Excellent. And, and they're just, you know, functional, but aging, older, small apartments with small bathrooms, next slide. Some of which have fallen into disrepair. And as I mentioned earlier, if you've ever owned an old home, I mean, old home, like building the twenties, you know, that you, you can't just like repaint it. Uh, you can't just easily patch it with, um, you know, with drywall it's, it is a major undertaking to maintain older homes like this. It's, it's not for the faint of heart. Next slide.
So as we rotate, and by the way, those homes on Charlotte street, I'm going to show you this later. And Lindsay, we'll talk about it in greater detail. Um, we cannot accomplish what we want to accomplish to create the kind of commercial corridor that, that Charlotte street needs and the city needs if we retain those homes. So I'll come back to that. But now we're up on from, and we're at the top of the site, which is about 60 feet higher than Charlotte street. And you're looking at these two homes, they're both duplex homes. Uh, the one on the left we're proposing to remove that. It's not particularly architecturally interesting. I like the color. It's not a bad house, but we're going to replace it with a 10 unit three story building. It will be a palpable height because the great drops away. You can kind of see that, um, in the, in the photograph there.
And so what, we'll take two homes and we'll create 10, the home on the right. It is immediately adjacent to a private home right there on the corner. And it is architecturally interesting. I ran by it today and looked at it more closely. If you look at the side, it's got some neat design features. Um, we want to preserve that completely renovated, historic, perfect renovation, and then turn it into a duplex home that we will offer for sale to individuals or families, income qualifying at 80% of AMI. Just exactly like what I was describing earlier for the 70 mils gap road project. It's a, you know, it's a significant gift by the developer. They could, they could sell that for probably a million dollars once they renovate it, but they're not going to do that. They're going to sell it and there'll be deed restricted, affordable.
Now these are, these are two of the five homes on bear, and I don't have to tell you, there's nothing architecturally interesting about these homes. They're old homes. They may be contributing structures, but they're not historic, and they're not particularly interesting. And candidly, they're also in pretty bad shape.
Now this is Dr. Killian's office, his former office. Um, you can see how he added on two sections, uh, there on the end of the building, um, in order to make it usable as a doctor's office. Uh, the, the original structure itself is, is of course, much smaller. Uh, and what, and if you were to do a historic renovation, you'd have to take this off. He reduced the square footage, and it would be a very expensive renovation, but I can tell you, we tried hard to figure out how we could use that building in this site. And unfortunately it just doesn't make sense. We can do the interior, but hidden parking garage. We can't, we can't create, uh, the, um, the live work units that you're going to see here in a minute. We just can't do what we want to do and make it work. And it's just one of the challenges of the site. It's unfortunate, cause I liked this house, but it just can't. We keep it to about, as everything's balanced, I talked about this earlier. We can't save that unfortunately and do what we want to do. Excellent.
So where do we get inspiration? Well, you only have to look diagonally across the street at the King James building, uh, and the, uh, and the, and the bakery building. I call it, uh, the chop shop building as the King James building, um, this, you know, this urban cool brick, nice, you know, black iron accents. You see the awning on the chop shop. I mean, these are, these are buildings. We're all proud of. And they're vibrant and alive. When I, when I run at lunch and I run almost every day by this, this neighborhood, you, you run by this section and it's vibrant and alive and you get to the five rocker site. And of course, people are just parking there because they're working on their project and you look to the right, right, like right where I'm standing and you see this narrow little sidewalk and you see a rock wall and it's just dead.
There's nothing happening. And nobody wants to run or walk on that side. I don't run on that. So I cause the sidewalks too narrow. And so you go over to the other side and all of a sudden you come to the taco temple and you see what John Attwater has done with that building. And it's vibrant and alive and people are talking and having fun, even in, in the midst of, you know, of the COVID, they're all wearing masks, but they're, but it's active. That's what we want for Charlotte street. Next slide. We looked to the living natural plan and, and very specifically the Charlotte street neighbors vision plan. And it was like the worst jumped off the page. This was the vision that the Charlotte street neighbor said they wanted for their neighborhood, safe, walkable fiber, welcoming to residents of a range of backgrounds, lifestyles, and income levels that encourages a quality of life that provides equitable access to high quality goods and services. That is my client's vision also. And we've adopted that. And it, you will see in a minute, it is absolutely incorporated in space in this project with that, I will turn it over to Lindsay.
Okay. Thanks Wyatt. And for anyone who doesn't know me, my name is Lindsay Roden, but I've got the whole family Gmail accounts so that I can see your faces and present. Um, I'm an architect and likewise that I've lived in, he works and practice in Nashville for over 15 years. We've got our whole design team. One of the things, thank you so much for getting us there, energy and intention this evening. We really appreciate it. And it's really my privilege to be able to talk about this project. I invite you to, you know, we hear a lot about potentially the change of what the project can be, but I, to invite you to just joining us, think about the change can be good. And look at this through the lens of all the possibilities that this project will bring to the greater neighborhood, the community and the city.
When we started this project, we had key priorities, a strong sense of place, practical, mixed use development and climate conscious approach. And those have been in our minds the whole time as we've been developing it. And they came like, why is it from the living actual comp plan plan on a page? And we also love the fact that this is on the innovation. It's on an innovation corridor, hit my little button there. Okay. When we look at the living Asheville, it's the appendix E and all of the strategies, we really feel like this project checks a lot of those boxes. We recognized I'm not writing project can check them all, but we feel really confident that we're heading in the right direction. And we know that because we've been focused on the community benefits. This project is a great idea. I want to hear from Chris.
Hello. Good afternoon. Good evening. My name is Chris day. I'm with civil design concepts, uh, local civil engineer here. I've been in front of this board, um, many times. And I appreciate the opportunity to be here tonight. Um, regarding this project as the civil engineer, this is really my favorite aspect of this project. The picture you see on the right, it is the existing condition, why it made reference to it. Um, while we do see the new bike lane there, what we really, what really stands out is this substandard sidewalk on this section of Charlotte street, you've got a, it's very tight and it's got encroachments with fines and utility poles and other things that really make it difficult for two people to even cross the road. Diet has been a great improvement to this corridor, but it was limited to the existing right away.
This project is donating to the public 13 to 25 feet of real estate along Charlotte street, frontage to improve the multimodal transportation system. This is actually goal number nine of the living Asheville comp plan, which is to improve the multimodal transportation system. This cross section is different than what we originally submitted, um, and it's different than what we showed the neighbors when we first introduced this project. And that's because we've been, we've taken this canvas and this donation of, of ride public away. And we've met with Asheville transit department, um, Asheville transportation, and also Asheville on bikes. And we've gotten some feedback from them to, to present what we see here today. Um, starting from the existing northbound, traveling, heading with the city behind you and heading North, we have introduced a 10 foot transit area and that 10 foot transit area allows for a three to four foot buffer from the vehicles and the bike lane right now, the bike lane is smaller and it is right up against the travel lane.
And so we're creating this three to four foot buffer, and then furthermore adding, um, width to the bike lane. So that it's six to seven feet. And in total width, um, beside that we've got a curb and a five foot amenity landscape strip, and then an eight foot pedestrian zone. And then beyond the Podesta, the eight foot pedestrian zone, we have, um, another five to 13 feet of public space that goes up to the building facade. These align with gold 29, which is to enhance the safety of the public realm and goal 31, which is to promote general health and wellness. This whole area will be brought down to the Charlotte street road level. And this requires bringing that down, um, 10 plus feet because the existing topography that you see there in the right picture, um, has to, we have to drop that whole area down. Lindsay, will you talk more about the mixed use program?
And another thing I was thinking about is we work with city staff, you'll see we've got like a grass strip there versus the trees and grapes. And that was a discussion to make sure that we are getting those trees healthy as the healthiest foundation they can have. Um, but yeah, I'd love to keep talking just about the mixed use program inherently. This project is not a single youth where it's just apartments. Um, Shannon, you did a great job cause this is a big site. We've got a couple of things. We actually have an office building on Charlotte street and the ground floor is going to have commercial. And when you're walking closer to Charlotte and there, um, Charlotte at East Chestnut, more retail with apartments above you go around East Chestnut, we've got live work units there and a little less commercial there's for sale homes on the site too. And what does all that mean? It means there's activity at different times of the day. And that is sort of, um, it's dynamic and unique and well cited. I'm real about the fact that we have this diverse program
Some are all men. Oh my gosh. Okay. Another great community benefit placemaking and public space. So on the left, this is a rendering of our product and kind of standing right by behind the chop shop and looking at East Chestnut in Charlotte street. Normally you just see a corner of a building, their goal. What we've done is peeled it back because right now there's an empty private lot. And now this is going to be a public space. That's open to everyone. We've been calling it a terrace, kind of using the grade change to our advantage. I see people grabbing an ice cream from a new spot and sitting here or getting a coffee or meeting your friends, judging and jogging around my neighborhood. I mean, this is a new hub and place and gateway to North Charlotte. And it's a huge, it's a huge amendment, but it's only a factor of ability to get this conditional zoning so that we can do a project of that scale.
Shannon did a great job. So I won't belabor this, just seeing the circles, right. We know we've got kind of those open public spaces on the corner of Charlotte, but also in our process, when you see the dash line, that's kind of in the middle, going West East, the site is totally open and public. So people who live in the neighborhood can cross through lots of different ways and get to downtown or get to city bakery. And then, um, we're there for three and a circle. We've really widened that to be a 30 foot wide, um, pocket park, uh, vegetal space. So buffer from our, the existing neighbors, but also provide that kind of casual informal connection to Albemarle. But again, it gets you back into the neighborhoods. We have structured parking. We've been really thoughtful to place that into the site and conceal that a height-wise from really anywhere around the site. And then within it kind of doing the double buffering of tree. So you can see the trees around the three properties within the block though. I know there's lots of trees. And then again, right up against the parking as well,
Uh, final community benefit to discuss. Um, and really it's not the community to me, it's the city at large, we're in a housing crisis. We know we need housing. My core, I know that this type of project where the half a mile from downtown, and we have the ability to have 183 residences for people to live close to town makes more sense. I love it. I, then we don't have a clear cut amount where we're maybe going to put these suburban apartments that offering, you know, public benefit. You know, that's not like a destination or a place. People can go, um, multi-family housing. It will be more energy efficient than the existing homes on the site, just by virtue of modern building codes and the density there. So I'm, couldn't be more excited to be a part of this project, but how are we going to do it?
And we talked about that line a little bit, but really want to just hit home. That from the beginning, our priority has been open and public space on the left. This is kind of a traditional approach. It's closed off. It treats every single street, like it's the exact same. And that's certainly not the case on Charlotte there, Berman and the interior. And it Testnet, it also makes that whole inside courtyard private, we're doing the opposite. We are opening this up and breaking up the footprint so that it can be chorus and continuous through the sites, not just for the people who choose to live and work here.
Just a few more things to point out, but we can answer questions too. Chris really touched on it. We've been, we've made changes along Charlotte street since TRC to hopefully, um, you know, make it, we're listening to city staff. We're listening to neighbors as well. The pocket park I mentioned between I'm calling buildings E and the residences 30 feet wide of vegetation. And we are keeping that existing home on from an Avenue. If we feel like that's kind of helping buffer and, um, providing more compatibility for this site.
Zoomed out elevations it, wasn't your packet. Um, but it's still here looking on screen. Hopefully you can see it. Um, in addition to the footprint, as we've been planning this out, we've always kept height in mind as well. So if you look at that second elevation on the right in gray, that's the asphalt arm, two stories out of our five story building. We're working with the grade. It's not any taller than that. I mean, all the neighbors up on the Hill on foreman still see what they see. And we do go five stories. It's really four-story right in the front of Charlotte. This story is step back. We are stepping up East Chestnut. Those are live work units. So it has more of a resident stepping into that residential character, four stories, and then three stories. And it sounds like you guys drove around or walked around.
There's a lot of multifamily, other three-story structures on these chestnuts and that feels, um, and keeping on bear again, we've got this Hill to work with. So our townhomes are not greater than 40 feet, which is really what you can do in RMA. There are three stories, townhomes, residential, and, um, style and nature. And we've got a four story and I'm stepping down to three stories in our office building on layers. But again, kind of see that hopefully that gas line showing the hype, working with this is, um, the blue dash line that we're in the exhibit two. This is just kind of designating the different, uh, existing zoning that we have. Our Denver taller buildings are all really in the CB one. And we are our building DNS are really aligned with RMA, which allows multifamily. It allows townhome. So we are coming here for conditional zoning to see if we can do a whole project and allow us to do that, but really the character and style and scale of these projects are in line with the zoning that is in place.
And speaking of that, uh, it's been great. We've had two community meetings, a website with an insane amount of comments and really getting lots of dialogue and feedback and other other meetings as well. These are structures, multi-family projects and the neighbor that people have spoke to and said, we love these. We want to save these. It's kind of interesting to note that they would have to come for conditional zoning too. And that the density we're proposing is in line with it as well as the materiality. And I'd love if you guys hang with me, you know, we're, we're kind of at plan level, but, um, this project significant and important. And we're thinking about that context, income, how stability. So the child shop is in Charlotte and the changing right next to it. We've heard from the neighbors. This is, this is what they'd like to see as a good character for their commercial buildings.
So what's maybe along Charlotte street. What I like about this are the bombings, the bricks coming all the way down, um, black frame metal, uh, windows, we've got some balconies and just kind of a nice warmth and human scale. Even the spacing and proportions of the windows on the upper level indicate residents and certainly commercial on the ground floor. This is the pallet that we're going to be using for our project as well, but we're really going to go through that. I think there's a really exciting opportunity to, um, mix traditional and then have some moments where we're using grit and creative way to make this project have a real sense of place. Be rooted in Charlotte street, not just any building USA on a residential scale, looking throughout the neighborhood, we've got a horizontal siding, we've got shingle signing. We have some flat routes and we have some through great torches right up the street as well.
That's all what we're looking to do. Um, that those same materials so are telling us are going to have pitch roots groups, porches, and residential scale windows as well. Just kind of zooming in. I can get talk too long about this stuff, but I think, um, as we keep refining with the finer details, the linings, the balconies, and then even public art, which we've gotten a lot of good support, more seems like murals are winning right now and certainly by a local artist. But what I, I we're studying that. I think it's really important. Those are just two graphic painted bricks on Charlotte street, that's character and what we want to continue to see flourish. And you can say right here, well, that's not real rough district. That's not what that's South of Biltmore village. This is Charlotte street. And that's what we want.
So really just looking again, just a few images, because it's hard to see those giant elevations. This is us standing at the corner of Baird and Charlotte. So the ground floor that isn't private, it's going to be open to everyone and have some retail restaurants. This is us backing up looking South there, that's where the bicycle and that car, you can see that the office building. So it has an office of quality and scale to it. Here we are with Ken James, right beside us. I can kind of pick up on the material cues and there you're looking at that open public Plaza with a building tool back can see kind of in the break and opportunity for euros. And hopefully tell that we've got really, will feel like full of stories along Charlotte street, which is important to us. And, and Wyatt alluded to, we looked at this density and, um, this allows us to kind of have an appropriate scale around the entire block versus not. And here is an image of us kind of saw a bit of this, but this gives a little bit more context so that the Charlotte is right beside us to the right. We're looking up East Chestnut. You see have the materials we'll begin to scale up to that residential level as you get into East Chestnut more.
And finally, um, our image of this street and all I, I just think about, I'm so grateful to, to present this to you. And I know that Kelly's family and RCG, you know, and ourselves, and hopefully, uh, everyone has a part of the thesis as an opportunity to really have it be a transformational project that is bringing great community benefits to them. And thank you so much for your time. I'll stop screen-sharing but happy to bring anything back up. So thank you.
Restaurants and comments from the commissioners. Okay. I think it was a great presentation. And thank you for, um, for all your time, uh, like the, um, the affordable housing piece. And this was that the, um, the townhouses or as combined. Um, so it will, two of the 18 will be the affordable home ownership, the renovation of that house that I mentioned. And then the remaining 16 will most
Likely be apartments, affordable apartments to people making 80% of AMI was kind of significant about this project. And so first time I've seen the developer do that without any help from the city. Uh, there, they are finding a way to make that work financially with this challenging site with no Luisa grant, no, no support whatsoever. And after I talked to them about it and explained how it works, they're willing to accept of the, of those 16, six of them. Uh, as housing vouchers, that'll leave 10 for people that maybe don't qualify for housing vouchers, but still need affordable housing, that income qualify, and they'll be able to, uh, to have a place to live. And if you think about that, when you add it to the Asheville arms units, you are truly going to have a mixed income, equitable community that we're creating, which simply doesn't exist on that side right now. But thank you for the question. I appreciate it.
Um, I'm going to follow up on that question again. Thank you for the presentation. That was very good. Um, I'm also concerned about affordable housing, um, are obtainable housing, and I'm glad this has been included in the plan, but, uh, my question or concern would be just the timeframe is that kind of like I've seen some affordable housing units designated in certain developments and that's like a 10 year or 15 year stamp, and then it's over. I mean, I would like to see that it's two continuum. You need to Virginia rates as the common, not just the one generation to generation iteration, I guess, is what I'm trying to say.
Yup. Uh, Ms. Cloth, that's a really good question. Um, with respect to the, the two units that will be, uh, sold as affordable as I, as I explained on the earlier project, that's that's whatever the city wants it to be because the city will control that, you know, once my client sells those units, they've made, they're actually going to lose money on those, but, but they're, they're sort of off their balance sheet. And if the city wants to restrict that for 15, 20, 25, it doesn't matter to me what you're balancing. There is whoever buys that wants to be able to build some equity. So you have to build that into the D you know, so that they can sell, get their equity and move on. And that's the reason, you know, we really want that to be part of this project, not easy to do on the affordable units.
Um, the commitment in the B one conditions will be for 20 years. That's a, that's a standard that the city has set. Um, it, that, that number, you know, I'm with you, I'd love to see them affordable for a hundred years, but when you look at obtaining financing for a project of this magnitude, you know, you've got to lay out your proformas to the bank and they got it. They have to understand how it's all gonna work, you know, 20 years to seems to be a number that works, but it doesn't mean that in 20 years after these, uh, units are completed, there might not be an opportunity where the city says, you know, we'd really like those to continue. Can you do that? And we work, you know, the owner works with the city to, to make that continue certainly mountain housing opportunities when they do that, you know, they kind of keep those affordable forever. And, you know, we'd like to see that too. It's just hard to make that commitment here. As we sit here before we even broke ground,
I really think the presentation that, you know, it it's attractive. And I appreciate the, um, attention to the street level, uh, particularly on Charlotte street. I think that's really dynamic. Um, and what I'm concerned about is that it looks similar to the Ashland project, uh, in a lot of ways. Um, and that may be because we're talking about the same company doing the same type of building kind of, but, um, so I don't know if the context is really popping out to me as far as the Charlotte street neighborhood. Um, and I'm concerned about the height. I know that the buildings, the King James and the chop shop was mentioned, those those are definitely shorter buildings. Uh, and so some of that, um, is a little bit concerning to me. Um, and then also the historic structures. Um, but I'll let someone else comment
If I can jump in on that mostly by the, uh, the height. Um, if you, if you just go down a little ways down the street on Chestnut, you'll come to the Commodore building, which is a comparable height, uh, and there are other structures in the area. And remember that the way this, this, uh, uh, site is sloped, it's, you know, the bottom is the low part. If you will, is on Charlotte street and it moves up. So while the height may seem bigger than it is bigger than, than the King James, as you move up to the site, it's actually no higher than the top of the asphalt arms building in terms of the design. I think it's, you know, it's, it's a fair question. And we've, we've gotten a lot of feedback from the neighborhood and the, the original renderings, uh, were more modern.
Uh, they were, and what we heard from the neighborhoods, no, we want brick. We want black iron. We want, we want something that feels and looks like Charlotte street. And that's what Lindsey I think was trying to articulate when she showed you some examples of architecture that will inform the final design, because this, you know, these are renderings. And, uh, as, as, as the folks on this commission that are in the development field can tell you, there's only so much time and money you can spend on your drawings before you'd gotten your zoning approval. Um, this is as advanced as any project that I've seen at, in terms of his level of detail, but believe me, there will be more detailed. We understand how important it is for these buildings to be uniquely Charlotte street, to be architecturally interesting. And I am confident that this team will deliver that.
I want to dive into the housing piece a little bit more. I've got, well, let's just say I have a lot of questions about a lot of things, but let's start with housing, um, in somewhere in the presentation and I don't think it got covered, but I did see the, um, and thank you for sharing the presentation with us, that there, it listed that there were 32 for sale units. Um, but I can only count with the row houses and then the two affordable 20. So I'm curious as to where the other ones are. Um, or if that 32 numbers just is just incorrect. Um, and then I have some questions just regarding what are those live work units, um, how are those set up? Um, you know, it appears from the elevations that it's, you know, like a loft space. In other words, it's like a double height space.
Um, is there any consideration of those, um, being at any affordability level, is there a consideration of those preps being for sale units as well? Um, and then just in general, as far as the affordability, um, and, and, and I do appreciate, I applaud the fact that the developer is, is figuring out a way to make this work without taking any Luigi grants or, or any other assistance. Um, you know, typically the city has kind of said, you know, city council and, and it's certainly something that I have really adopted, you know, it's, it's 20, 80, 20, it's 20% of the units at 80% AMI for 20 years. That's kind of like, that's the core that we want to see. Um, and so I, you know, my kind of, I think it's great, you know, you're, you're shooting for 10%, I think that's great. And have, did you try to go for 20, even if it meant that it was 10%, like you had to get Luigi for 10%, the extra 10?
So, so let me take the, if I can't, I'll take that first and then I'm going to kick the, uh, the questions on the units and where they are to, to Lindsay. But on the affordability question, when we first started meeting on this project in the fall of 2019, the city Luigi grant qualification was 10%. Um, only 10% of the units, uh, had to be 80% of AMI for 20 years. And that's the Luigi grant that we got on the Cox national project that was referenced earlier. The city changed that, um, after we were well on your way. Um, and we're in active dialogue with the affordable department in the city with Paul about whether or not we could perhaps deed restrict a certain number of the, um, astral arms, uh, and make them permanently affordable for 20 years, uh, coupled with more of the units that are new to too.
And if you had the 56 to the 180 units, you know, you're getting well over 200 total units, could we qualify for a Luigi grant at 20% there? And I'll, I can tell you, Mr. Archibald was those conversations are ongoing. It's, it's pretty challenging, uh, financially to make that work, um, you know, to build a project of this quality and scale is expensive. And, um, I don't know whether we can get there, but we haven't given up, uh, I share your, uh, interest and desire in, in creating as many fordable units as we possibly can. I'll just tell you, we're still working on it. What I know we can do, and we're committed to do as a condition. This is the 10% with the two of those being affordable. And again, it's, it is significant without a Luigi grant. Lindsay, you want to take the other question?
So the, um, the 32 for sale building F is also for sale, so that's 10 units along Ferman. Oh yeah. So that is included. And then, um, the live work units, we've got 15 shown right now on East Chestnut and you're right. You saw it. So where we are, um, know we're navigating sort of the grades and access to different levels and the parking structure. So they're a little taller, so they will kind of, they couldn't have that loft feel to them on East Chestnut. We also have some within and building B building these, uh, the Tetris T shape is an seven. I don't know what you want to call it in that piece as well, going that ground floor. Um, do you want me to pull something up? I mean, no,
Let's leave. I'm, I'm looking. Um, I was trying to pull up the site plan to understand, um, you know, right now there, I'm not sure what area may have been, and I'll look that while, while we're talking, um, the vehicular access to the site, um, as was mentioned earlier, we have no vehicular access off of Charlotte and the primary vehicle, our access is off of East Chestnut. And so you, you can come in there and then we've got a, let's see here, Lindsay, thank you for pulling that up. There is some, some internal connectivity of, um, being able to, to navigate the site.
Yeah. I can pull up the more technical ones if we need to, we have a service road anywhere that gas line is. So we've got to get our fire trucks around here worth of planning and planning. So, um, we'll be, it is that. And I think there might be a good point of clarification. The parking garage is access from a chest and Baird, and this is, um, that's on access point into the deck. Thank you, Lindsey. Thank you. So that white portion as the surface for fire, but it's normally a sidewalk, um, here in this area. Yes. Yeah. Okay. Jason, our landscape architects want, this is, this is Janice Ashley. I just want to clarify, I know Mr. Archibald asks about the number of units and the B one conditions. It just talks about 181 multi-family units. It clarifies in the affordable conditions, which are home ownership and which are rental, but you may want to, for the conditions just make, I'm not hearing it clearly. How many are for sale and how many are rental? I don't think. And you may want to add that to your B one conditions.
No, that's for the affordable. I'm an overall, I thought you were sorry. We're happy to clarify that it might be helpful to add the live work units to they're mentioned, but can I just recap? Cause we just talked about it, but I couldn't add it all up. You said the ones on from, in the building, you have the total of for sale. So the two that why it was mentioned in the existing, how long for a minute building app, which is right next to that existing home and then the units along barriers for a total of 30 to 32 for sale, which are affordable
Yeah. I came up with 32 for 30, also Another question about the housing. Um, and again, I saw this when I was, uh, viewing through the presentation. Um, it was mentioned that the row houses were going to be built to passive house standards. Um, and that the results are going to be as far as the construction and I'm not sure which building, I think it might've been one of the, either the office building or building, um, I guess it's building a that's on the corner was going to be a CLT cross-laminated timber. Is that correct?
We're considering it at this point. I mean, it's like, you guys know it's really early in the phase, but then we're the we're looking at right now. I have like, people prompting me with cues and the other comments ring 20 pound number on there. So we do get 32. I have a question. I have a question about a bike, since you did at least like bike lanes in there. I didn't see any bike parking. Like is there bike parking, like down in the garage or somewhere like in the common area or somewhere I'm a biker. So I want to know where I'm getting my bike. When I come home, they can talk about it and I'll point them out if we have, this is more of a illustrated plan that I'll pull up our illustrator plan while you're talking.
I'm not sure about the issues with Jason and start talking over me. If you, you get a marked out Jason, but I'll say that, um, I think Lindsay made reference, we've got some of them shown, um, typically that, um, that really gets dialed in at final TRC as we come back, um, uh, kin Putnam and Barb me in the transportation department, Barb meets with specifically, um, really focuses on making sure that as we, the bicycle parking, we also are putting it in convenient places throughout the project so that, um, it is, uh, it's not just tucked away in a garage somewhere. Um,
We haven't shown that dispersed. Then there's 24 spots right now and I just had to show my little mouse around. Um, but it definitely is on the civil and landscape plans as well, but it's not simple to see right here. Okay. All right. Thank you. And thank you for adding the bike lanes and also thank you for the good presentation. I really enjoyed it.
So we're very fortunate that the three-phase power and the large utilities are on the opposite side of, of Charlotte street. Um, the, I think what we've got is just really some communication lines on our side and some service lines that are running up to, um, to serve some of the existing buildings. So, um, we are in, at this point, anticipating, you know, all the stuff in interior will, will be, um, underground fed from, uh, a transformer. Um, we have not worked out the details on that, but we're not, we're excited about being able to remove some of those existing complex out there.
And then it's supplemented Mr. Houser with the, um, the parking numbers that you see there include the parking lots around the Asheville arms. Um, those will be improved currently. They do not meet, um, city standards. And so we're bringing those, um, up to standard and adding, adding landscaping in there. And, um, so that's the balance of the parking
There was a traffic study required for the project. Um, in fact that it had us analyze 12 different intersections, um, all the way, you know, we're, we're really only a block and a half from two 40. So we had to, um, identify, we had to evaluate the intersections for the on and off ramps at interstate two 40. We had to go all the way down to Charlotte and college street. And then we went all the way over to Merriman Avenue there at trader Joe's. So the traffic study, obviously we, we do have some, um, bringing this density in here, a block and a half up from the interstate does, uh, generate more traffic. Um, the vast majority of ours are coming in off of East Chestnut street. And, um, we are proposing to widen East Chestnut street utilizing more of our property to do so that will create a left turn lane into our site, but also a left turn lane back towards the interstate.
We've got, uh, another turn lane proposed at Baird street and, um, and some small improvements to the, uh, lane EJ, uh, on the off ramp at, uh, interstate two 40. So the bot has a, that's been reviewed by the city of Asheville and is in the bot, um, really handles the detailed review of those traffic studies. And, um, they have completed their review and we're finalizing, um, those, uh, their, their final recommendations. But the, um, those, the ones that I mentioned where that the mitigation assigned to the project and those will be completed, um, by the, by the project, by the developer.
Perhaps only served in affordable housing use for college students. And I wonder how this development would provide for college students. Well, um, you know, I think of my own daughter, who's a freshman at chapel Hill, although she's remote this year, she'll need housing in the fall. And I think of all of the various apartment complexes around chapel Hill, there's ample supply of that kind of housing. There will be ample supply of that kind of housing on this site. There isn't in North Asheville, there's lots of housing for unch students and others. Now a lot of those are market rate and unfortunately college kids sometimes have to bite the bullet or their parents do, and they have to pay market rate, but, but certainly, uh, students would be open if they can income qualify for any of the affordable units hand, you know, if some of the astral arms open up, um, Mr. Houser, of course we would welcome college students, uh, in, in those units. I guess this question is probably more for Ms. Tuck. What does the conditional zone, if it is approved, allowed to happen in the future for the Asheville arm?
Story buildings. So it would not be able to be expanded or add a story without amending the conditional zoning ordinance, should it be approved? So what you've got is what you got, unless they come back and get the, um, ordinance amended. Uh, I just want to speak on college students and where they live. I feel like I am pretty knowledgeable about this because I have 15 college students that work for me at my company, and they all go to UNC or AB tech, and they're always looking for housing and, um, you know, the majority of them do pay their own rent. And I do know students who have lived in these towns and their exact words were imparted my language on this, or they're pretty crappy on the inside, but I don't think that, um, that was why I asked them the beginning was what historical factor has these homes because, um, from people's perspectives who are actually living in these homes college, again, I don't think that there is that historical factor from people who are paying rent there. So, um, you know, as Mr. Stevens points for college students who are looking for housing, if we're able to provide something better for them at a similar price point, I think that this is a good option for us to look into.
I've got a couple of follow ups, one to Mr. Houser's, uh, question about parking. And I just want to make sure I understand it correctly. I think Mr. Day, you're probably the one who can answer this. You mentioned there was, and I don't remember the exact 400 and something, uh, parking spaces that did or did not include the existing parking with the Asheville arms.
So yeah, some clarify that the, it does include the existing parking. It includes those existing units. So that is factoring in the 50 that the existing units at the Asheville arms, the commercial space that was North of 45,000 square feet, as well as the new residential units. And so based upon those numbers, the city kind of has a man minimum of 367 and a maximum number of allowed parking spaces of 659 with all the great features of this project. We really were edging down towards that there's minimum requirements. And so we're providing a 412 is what's proposed on the site plan.
Um, speaking about the row houses over on Baird, how is trash being handled by our, for those? Um, and obviously I'm going to assume I probably shouldn't, but for the two buildings on from, and that would be private residential rollout cans, um, for the, you know, the larger buildings with the apartments, a dumpster internal, but then as far as the rental houses on bear and how is trash being handled on there?
And what's the cop trash guys. I think I can, um, it is, those are gonna be for sale. So there that's, you know, you own it and it'll go to the curb, but I'm thinking the owner again, it's in the other room. So if I said that differently, so he'll come let me know. Um, that's difficult. Yeah.
One, one question this unsure still is again, another TRC that needs to get fully worked out. There's been some comments and debates about the bus, where the bus stop is and how it has to cross the bike lane and all that kind of stuff. Do you all have any, anything you want to say about that?
So I'll speak to that. Um, I have met with the transportation department and had a couple of different conversations on that and there's, um, right now the once again, you know, I think with this canvas that this project is providing to the public right away. Um, you know, I'm not going to the city transit and transportation may change their mind, but what we're anticipating right now, and, um, what we've kind of discussed and worked out with Asheville on bikes is keeping the bike lane, um, right up against the curb. So we would have the pedestrian zone, the landscape amenity the curb, and then we've got the bike lane and then we have a, um, and then we've got that buffer. So the transit would actually stay, um, based on my meetings with the city, the transit prefers to stay in the travel lane so that they don't have to get back into the travel lane once they've picked up, um, riders.
And so at that point, when the bus doors open that kind of, that bike buffer between the vehicles and the bike lane kind of helps keep those, that door swing, um, space right there. And then as bike, I mean, as a transit are, they will have to look both ways to make sure there's no one in the back of one bike lane to cross from the sidewalk over and get on the bus. So we felt like with this, this transit area and this multimodal, that was the cleanest and easiest way to, um, provide that space and program that space. That's, that's the current knowledge.
Thanks, Mr. D um, I've got one question. I know Santa is going to be the best answer this, um, and it has to do with what would be allowed by, right, given the current zoning, um, you know, you talked about obviously, you know, at CB one, you know, we're talking about, and, and there's, and for that part, the part that front Charlotte street, we've got the, you know, um, Charlotte street transition overlay, which has some certain restrictions, as far as the design, the look of the buildings, um, you know, there's height restrictions for <inaudible>. Um, and also for the transition overlay, I think it's 40 feet, um, you know, their size restriction, square foot restrictions. And then on the parcels on the back, you know, there's the RMA, which allows, again, multifamily, RM 16 allows more dense multifamily. So, you know, some of what is happening certainly on the backside what's being proposed on, you know, um, I, I'm still calling at one 34 and one 32 Fermin, but those are our within keeping for the existing, um, existing zoning. And even the row houses are certainly, um, could be allowed by right currently. Um, it's really mostly the front buildings where it's a matter of larger square footage, larger footprint and higher, um, allowable Heights is, is that really, is that a correct assessment, I guess?
Um, it is with a caveat. So they, um, the CB one and the Charlotte street transition overlay are somewhat similar. And I don't think that's an accident that they buy, right. It limits the square, the footprint of a individual structure to no more than 6,000 square feet and 12,000 square feet total. So it's imagining that maximum two story. There are some built-in bonuses, um, to the trans, uh, Charlotte street transition overlay that allows you to increase the square footage by up to 75%, if you incorporate certain design features. So that would allow you to increase the structure size to about 20, 21,000 square feet somewhere in there. Um, now you have that, that two story maximum, maybe there could be, I don't think you get a story bonus. I think it's just square footage bonus. Um, but the height is 40 feet. So it's imagining some flexibility taller ground level, maybe a shorter upper story.
I'm not sure, but it gives you a little bit of flexibility or a foundation with the ground level with the second story. So, um, so the maximum height is 40 feet. Same with the residential, the RN zoning and the rear. That's also a maximum 40 feet course. You limit the uses. That's strictly residential in the RMM. Whereas on the CB one, you can have a mix of commercial and residential together. Um, I think it's appropriate. I should acknowledge that our comprehensive plan does call for more intense, higher density uses along certain corridors. And in North Asheville, Charlotte street is one of those quarters that's called out. So some people may think may view that as sort of an inconsistency between the comprehensive plan and some of the zoning requirements. So that's where the conditional zoning application process is really valuable because it allows you to look at these on a case by case basis allows you to really examine the context, um, to try to kind of come up with something that meets those goals, but is compatible with the surrounding neighborhood context. Does that answer your question?
It does. Yeah. That's yeah. That's what I was looking for. Um, one comment, I think, or at least, uh, I don't know if it's a clarification on the height, you know, I mean, I know it says that it's 40 feet and I was out there today looking at, uh, the property and, you know, that's typically from the, from the ground. Um, and if you were to think about the way those houses sit right now, you know, those houses are anywhere between, you know, the backside is pretty much almost at grade in the front. You know, like the porches that face Charlotte street are, you know, four or five feet above, and then you've got two stories and you have a roof, you know, right now those houses, if you were to stand at Charlotte street and measure a statement as rough, the peak of the roof, probably 40, 35, 40 feet, somewhere in that range. And I know that, um, Mr. Stevens and miss Roden, you know, mentioned like the Commodore, that's a four story. That's probably pushing more like 50 feet in height. So, um, you know, I guess I'm just thinking about it as far as context like this building is, uh, if I'm reading correctly, the elevations between 55 and 60, again from that Charlotte street level to the highest point. So, you know, we're talking like an additional 15 from what we from what is, is even there right now, perhaps,
Right? So I think that's where context, um, really becomes very important because if four or five store building that is dropped down to the level of Charlotte street will have less visual impact than a four or five story building that sits up on the Hill where those existing houses that today. So obviously, so that's why a site specific development plan is, is, is an appropriate way to look at a large project like this.
That's a great ex you might've had to jump in on that road, please, please, Mr. Archibald, if you want to, if you want to see the kind of construction that happens with the current zoning, not, not, not the expansion district that we're asking for, you can just got to look right across the street at the UVS building, fully compliant. Two-story uninteresting right on the street, that building. And I mean, our, my clients looked at that. They, they, you know, they crunched the numbers, you know, you could, you could do, uh, you know, you could do a two-story CVS buy, right, without ever going to city council, you could do, you could make profitable use under the existing zoning, but what you can't do is create the kind of density that we think the site calls for. If you cap it out at 40 feet, or if you, if you stop the footprint at 10,000 feet. So I really, you know, I appreciate your comments because it's, you know, it's, it's kind of a, it's, it's a complex notion. But if you think about how long that zoning has been in place and how frankly little has happened on Charlotte street, you see that the current zoning doesn't work, it doesn't inspire. And so that's one of the frankly great things about the conditional zoning is that it enables us to do something that is visionary and transformational.
And I'll just clarify one other item, Mr. Archibald, you made reference to the height of those existing structures along Charlotte street. And then additionally, they're sitting, um, because of the topography out there, they're sitting another 10 feet up. So, um, there you're, we're getting up there, um, into somewhat comparable height.
I think the, um, the elevations that were included in the packets are very helpful. There's a, there's a second set of elevations that show the project in context with some of the surrounding buildings on that same block. So you can kind of see how the Heights, um, you know, the grade climbs as you head back into the neighborhood. So like the houses that are across the street on Fermin are not only higher just because of the natural grade, but then they actually sit a little bit higher than those on Ferman yet the ones opposite and that are in this project site on farm. And so, so I appreciate that the design team put those elevations together. Cause I think it does a good job of illustrating, um, the, the context of height with this project. Can I jump in before
Operating a power on, on, on, on battery power up here. We've lost electricity on our Ridge. So, uh, network on and battery, not a great, thanks. So let me jump in real quick and ask a question about the ground floor retail space, as you envision it. Could you give me some idea of what kind of square footages you're looking at along the ground floor to activate those spaces?
Sure. So, I mean, right now it's, it's, um, a 60 foot deep day and it can get broken off. So as much as it wants and it's, and it is getting late guys. So I think it's 20,000 square feet of commercial and I'll, I'll look at myself and if I'm expressed, cause you've got all our staff in front of us and that's on Charlotte street on the two buildings that we call a and D that help a little bit. So it would have the storefront glazing, you know, the dynamics, but it's, it's kind of, it's a little early to sort of talk about the least where the,
I realize that. Yeah, I just wanted to make a point, but, um, for, for local businesses, it's much more, um, affordable for them to have smaller spaces. And as you go forward, um, if you would consider that if, if, you know, if you were able to get through this conditional zoning, um, if you would consider smaller spaces because larger spaces, um, tend to need larger firms, national firms so forth. Uh, and, and, um, I really would like to see more incentives for local companies, local firms, to be able to come into your building and activate those spaces. Thank you.
Yeah, it's very, it's very similar to a flex retail that you see elsewhere. They have the ability with the spacing of the doors to really divide those into, you know, a Bay of 20 feet wide, 25 feet wide, or maybe someone else bigger comes in and a restaurant and they want 50, they want two bays and it really, it gives that flexibility and that depth being only 60 feet, um, kind of is a really good depth that it doesn't get too much and too big for folks on a
Well, thanks for the lead in Ms. Rodin, that's kind of going back to the comment I asked earlier about if there were any of the live work units that would be for sale, because I think that would be in a way, a great way to like help small local businesses, um, you know, their Watson lots even more now, um, you know, kind of solo preneurs, you know, one person, um, working from home and, and it could be a great way that they could have that kind of storefront or at least a place where they could meet with people, but also live and kind of have rent that, you know, they're not paying double rent.
I just want to make one comment before we open up for public hearing, uh, or public comment. Um, I know Mr Hauser, you mentioned this way back at the beginning of, of our meeting. Um, you know, we did receive a lot of public comment about this. Um, it, it was public comment that was submitted through the portal. It was public comment that was emailed directly to Mr. Houser. Um, I can say that we, that we've got all of that. And I looked at every single piece of public comment. Um, it, it was seen, it was heard, um, your, your comments are being heard.
So I will add to that, that a significant factor that a lot of folks mentioned was historical context or historical aspect to this development. And I have in front of me, the 1913 and the 1917 Sanborn maps. And I guess the first question I would ask is whose history are we trying to preserve, like keeping these 13 buildings because they don't show up on either the 1913 or the 1917 Sanborn map and the property that's currently on this project as a parking lot was called the Oakwood boarding house in 1913. And by 1917, has it become an Oakhurst girls' school and the property where the 56 unit apartment is, was a boarding house in 1913. And by 1917, they had added a Henry and they had eliminated their servants courts, which is troublesome.
I, I have to point out too that a lot of the comments that we received were from people who have recently moved to Asheville and want to keep it the way it is. And that seems just a little bit hypocritical to me because we have room for you and now we've got no room for anybody else. We live in a very popular place that a lot of people want to be here and it's getting very cost prohibitive to live here for a lot of different reasons. And one of those is because we don't have enough housing here and we don't have enough affordable. And I think that the goal of 20% is much more attractive to me than Tim. If there are no other comments from commissioners, I think we will take a 10 minute break before we open for public comment. Seeing none. It is currently eight 50. We will open for public comment after a couple of comments just after nine o'clock. Thanks everyone,
Thank you for your presentation of, um, great, great information and thank you all for staying in there with us this long. We really appreciate it. It's an important project and we, we, we appreciate your time, Mr. Stevens. I think we have like another hour and a half to break our record, so we're good.
Yeah, I think you're going to let me know. And then, so how about they call her now and then I will handle it on this end. All right. Shannon, maybe he'll say three minutes. And if they're literally like, just use your judgment if they're like, okay, thank you. You know, like maybe give them a few extra seconds to try to wrap it up. Okay. You don't have to be like, Oh, I'll do my very best to do this.
Take a look. Okay. We're at nine Oh one. So I want to reiterate comments that I made before, before we opened for public comment, that infrastructure improvements are a requirement of the UDL. If you have concerns and you've called in to talk about water or sewer or storm water or parking or traffic, those are items that are covered by the studio and our requirements. So they are not a rationale for opposing this project. If the developer or property owner has met those requirements in accordance with the UTO, that's what has been asked of them. And they have done it.
Tony, I'm sorry. I have to correct that. If they're requesting a change to those standards though, then they are appropriate for comment, correct? Conditional zoning. So just if there's some something that you've just said that they asking for a change to it, then that could be comment or to mitigate certain impacts. I mean that it's not common, but it can be looked at that way.
Thank you. So the public will have three minutes per person. And as usual we would request that you would speak to pertinent information that has not already been covered by a previous commenter. And I'll read this script one more time. In addition to the prerecorded and or emailed information, we will be taking live public comments for up to an hour. Each speaker will have speaker we'll have up to three minutes for public comment staff we'll connect, live calls from our speaker queue for informal discussion and public comment callers. If you are on the line and wish to provide live comments, please enter the speaker queue by pushing star three callers will hear an automated message, letting them know they are un-muted and live in the meeting. The caller may begin speaking after the automated message. Please state your name. If the call or accidentally drops out of the speaker to they can just redial the number and meeting code and press star three to rejoin the speaker queue. And with that, we will open for public comment at nine Oh four.
Hi. My name is Meg Jamison. I live in the neighborhood. I live up on the bond rock terrace side, which is just off of Baird street and down Albemarle. Um, right. I don't, I don't know exactly how far from the project, but I lived in this neighborhood since 2008 and then wanted to call in and say that I do support this project for a number of reasons that also tie into our Charlotte street
That's the another memory public's been trying to call, but there appears to be some technical problems. Can you hear me then they say, it says, um, it says when they call in, it keeps saying that public comments are not being accepted for a February meeting of city council. And she said she used the same code from earlier tonight. <inaudible> okay. Can you hear me contact our tech? I will try. I will try another color. I'm just going to mute this line. I'm not going to disconnect them. So since they've been in there so long, is that all right? And just try another one. Sure. Let's let's test this out.
Am I speaking now? And do you think maybe there was, um, like the, did the broadcast timeout or something like has happened with HRC before any or, uh, it shouldn't, I don't think OPSB times out. And, um, Marie, um, already reconnected the conference bridge for public input, so, okay. Okay.
That most people in the neighborhood are as supportive. Multi-cloud that's outside of the existing zoning everybody's computer attire. You know, this is unusual. <inaudible> we're calling about this project, but previous meetings. So, um, I'm going to mute myself. I'm going to try to call, see if we can,
I guess what I'm wondering is could it be to valet Shannon, Shannon? I'm just wondering, could it be where I had to, um, reconnect to the bridge, these toddlers that were in the first branch, trying to pull them through the second bridge. So I'm going to go here and try and connect a caller. That was not from the previous bridge, but might be a good idea. Try that. I am so sorry. I just tried calling in and it said it couldn't be completed.
Well, seeing no public input, we'll close public. Just joking folks. Um, we're trying to get this resolved and bear with us. We've all been here a long time and we are, uh, obligated to be here for longer. So just bear with us. Yeah. I could hear Meg talking, but I couldn't, but they couldn't hear. I've also received an email from someone who said that the call ends. I just received another interesting email that said that one of the listeners can hear the call or talking, but we can't. So the people on the line waiting can hear the caller or listening to the meeting can hear the person. Apparently when I just tried to call, it said I was calling for city council when I entered the planning and zoning code. Okay. I think I fixed it. Um, I'll try this again, but it looks like we're missing a couple people. So perhaps if it works, we'll just have to ask them to, um, There should be a caller on the line. This waited a very long time.
Can anyone hear me? They're saying that you we've probably exceeded the preset timeframe for a meeting. So you have to go into public Inc. Public input, go to the setup, the meeting setup page and change the start time at five and time at nine are you did? I just did. And I got through and we should have somebody involved. Cause as soon as I did that and I called it, went through. Okay. I hope that's exactly what I thought as well.
I'm going to go back in there. I will do that. I'm going to go back in there and see if I need to reconnect to that. Google meet Shannon. Do you think it has anything to do with the fact that Marie is letting them in, but she's got a delay on her end if we try to, both of us are in the office. If we try to let the calls in from the office. Yeah. You know, that's a thought I could, I could, um, let me, let me try to get into public input. One of my clients just texted me and said that, um, there's a, there was a neighbor that was talking just a few moments ago. She could hear him, obviously we couldn't. So there's something about our little zoom view here. That's not letting these folks Okay.
Hello. I'm gonna try to bring the color in Shannon. I found the problem, the public input conference lines. Some have been muted in our Google, in the Google meeting. Standby. You un-muted yourself. Can you hear me collar collar? Yes, we can hear you. I'm the eight one five number. Yes you are.
Um, okay. So I am, uh, my name is Deb Karish and I live on Von Ruck Court I live a few blocks from the project, but, um, both of the access streets that I take to and from my home are on either side of this project. So I would be, um, going past it every day. Um, and my comments are, uh, that,
Been very involved in the process. We've had really great communication with the owners and the developers, and, uh, they've been extremely responsive to our, um, ideas about, um, materials and colors and, um, structural things and, um, about safety. And, um, I really feel that it addresses, uh, some things that, that they haven't even, uh, uh, represented in their list of all the things that they, that they touch on, which is, um, I really feel that they do promote the small business and maker economy through those live workspaces. Um, I, I believe that they promote social equity and economic mobility, um, through those live workspaces. Um, I think that their affordable housing is significant, especially in this neighborhood because properties in this neighborhood are very expensive. Um, and, and I am excited about the project. I think it's going to add a lot to our neighborhood.
I feel like the way that they are, um, dealing with the elevation changes and the setbacks at Charlotte street where, um, you know, the, the building, the part of the building that's right on Charlotte will be only four stories and setback to five behind that. I think those are all good. So, um, I, I really feel that, you know, while a lot of, uh, folks have a lot of negative things to say about the project, I think that they haven't really studied the project the way that I have. And, um, I don't think that those negative comments have been particularly useful. I don't think that those houses, uh, should remain that are on Charlotte street. I think they need to go, they've been an eyesore the entire time I've lived here, which has been since 2012. And, um, yeah, I, I just, um, you know, I feel like they could have torn down those houses at any time. And, uh, you know, I would rather see this project than a CVS. That is my comment. Thank you for listening.
Hey, that's me. Can you hear me? Yes, no way. Goodness. Y'all did a good job. All right. Um, so my name is Meg Jamison. I also live on bond ruck, Tara. I've lived here since 2008, lived in Asheville since 2006. Um, I'm also calling because I also support this project. Um, and I support it for a number of reasons, but several of them tied directly to the plan on a page that I helped write with several of my neighbors. Um, and I actually think this project would be a huge asset to our neighborhood and set a really positive precedent for development along the corridor. I think the project provides
Opportunities to encourage our local businesses, to find homes that are neighborhood and what our plan on a page really stresses is that we want businesses and we seek businesses that will really serve our neighbors, not just tourists. Um, the project provides a really engaged street-level, which is also in our plan on a page one that is welcoming. And that's something that's specifically important, especially as we talk about the main maintenance of pedestrian and bicycle safety, which we have long thought after, um, especially with the road diet, it adds diversity to our neighborhood and more housing opportunities that have been expressed already, but we all know that our community so desperately needs them. And I personally think that it transitions very nicely into our neighborhood. I think it goes toward the con the questions in the context of historic preservation and how it's all weighted. I mean, it's also subjective.
Technically I want to clarify something. The Asheville arms was actually built in 1967. Most of the homes in my neighborhood were built in the early 1960s. They're all at this point, over 50 years old. So why are we not contributing toward those historic designation that you're speaking of it all is so ever changing. And we must really respect where we're going as a community to understand how we paint the future so that when our children are older, they can look back and say that we were a welcoming community, one that did not push people away, just because we're afraid of change. And one that, that really rolls and recognizes the times that we're living in today. We need housing. We need places for locals to start businesses. We need recovery. We've been in a COVID-19 lockdown for a year and a half. Our world is different. Now. Our neighbors love the local businesses that exist, and that have been able to hang on throughout this very stressful time. And we want to support more local businesses and more community members and welcome new neighbor, new neighbors, instead of turning them away. I'm ready to do that. And I'm looking forward to it. I think this is a great project and I support it. And that's my comment. Thank you.
Are you there? Mr. Chair see, has disconnected. I will put another color through it's worth stating that if you have a computer on or a sound system or something, that's re repeating the sound from the meeting, that's going to cause feedback and you need to turn that off. Hello, please hear me. Yes,
Hear me. My name is Benji Burrell. I live in the Charlotte street neighborhood. Um, I consider myself a, um, a person who cares a lot about both my neighbors, um, currently and, uh, in the future, as well as the, uh, as well as the folks that did live here previously, I've lived in the neighborhood and I'm just a few blocks away, um, a block and a half, maybe from the proposed development. And I would pass it going out of the neighborhood to go anywhere other than a district, just right down the street to, uh, neighbors. Um, and I I've thought long and hard about this development. Um, and initially was against it. Uh, we were, we were not given very much information up front. Um, and then there were, there was some early campaigning by those who were against the project that, um, from my perspective, uh, seems misleading in terms of the way that they were explaining what this was going to do and look like in our neighborhood.
And, you know, being, being fearful that, um, tearing down the homes was going to be catastrophic in some way to the neighborhood. Um, but I have to say, and I'm just going to be blunt here. You know, I, I'm not, although I love historical preservation, I don't always think that saving rich, dead people's houses is necessarily what our neighborhood needs. It's not what our kids need. The fact that those houses still on the Charlotte street frontage, um, you know, are old and, um, could be repaired. You know, the children of my neighbors are not going to grow up, being proud, but that house was kept. Um, they're going to be proud if they get their first job right down the street and the way they're going to get their first job right down the street is to have a business and provide spaces for businesses and people who are patronizing those businesses, um, to sustain them.
Um, I think it's important for everybody in the commission to drive down to Charlotte street and have a look at this small little strip mall style, um, buildings that are there. And, and just think back if you've been here a while, look at the, think about what businesses have been there. It's a very difficult for a business to survive on Charlotte street. There's very little parking associated with any of the commercial spaces. I'm thinking of the waterbird. For example, if you, if anybody's been there that only has four spaces and they share them with another ice cream shop, it's very difficult to turn and burn, to have customers to, um, to, to pay the rent on spaces like that. Um, so I just see our neighborhood moving forward, being close to downtown and being part of the city where we just can't ignore the fact that they were so close to downtown.
Um, and, and we love going downtown. Um, it's, it's one of the amenities of living in the neighborhood. And I think just expanding our neighborhood, um, with mixed use development, adding infill, and bringing in more neighbors is, is just fine because we're not, they're not going to stop coming to Asheville. We spend millions of dollars a year as a tour through the tourism development authority to bring those people here. And lo and behold, when they come here, they say, man, we'd love it so much. We kind of want to move here. Um, I will close with, uh, w with a note that with a comment that I've my wife and I, and all of our neighbors have spent the last year and a half walking the neighborhood, talking with neighbors. We held two community meetings through zoom with, and we've been communicating with the developers.
We've been sending as much information to Canada, um, to the city and asking questions. Um, in that process, I learned a lot about, I read all the regulations and the zoning for the Charlotte street corridor. Um, I came to conclude that this was a good project for the community. And in those walking in the neighborhoods, in the community meetings, not everybody said they liked it, but I would, I would say, and it goes really that far more than 50% of the people that I talked to said they were cautiously optimistic about the project and looked forward to having something closer to the house that they can walk down and enjoy where maybe a restaurant, maybe a small grocery store, something like that, bringing those things or a neighborhood is going to make our neighborhood better. It's not going to make our neighborhood worse. So thank you so much for your time and patience and, and everybody's commitment to making our community better through the volunteer commission and everyone else. Yep.
Hey folks. My name is Maggie omen and I live at two 60 hillside. Um, and I fully support this project for four reasons. First, I want more businesses, men neighborhood, and currently the considered 6.5 acres has no commercial shops or stores. Secondly, I want more neighbors and the residential density of this project will do that. My third reason is that I want my neighborhood to offer more housing options to people of all incomes. This project will provide more affordable units in the single structures that are currently on the site. Lastly, I want to say for Charlotte street to walk by and catch the bus from this project will improve safety with wider sidewalks improvements to the bike lane and transit stops. Lastly, I need to address the concern about this project that I do have. Um, there's been a large call to stop this project, and I understand the intent to preserve historic buildings, but intent isn't good enough for me, I'm interested in the impact and the impact of preserving these buildings that I foresee due to their current state of disrepair is that they'll be torn down or renovated in either case. I can't figure the math for how those structures would continue to offer housing that is accessible for neighbors of all incomes. I believe people are more important than buildings. And right now we don't have a historic building crisis. We have a housing crisis in conclusion. I support this project as a neighbor for more neighbors. Thank you.
Thank you. Next caller. Hello. Hello. Hi, please state your name. Hi, my name is Karen RAMSA. I'm a small business owner in Asheville. I moved here in 1967 with my family, and there have been a lot of closes because I'm not a museum and no one likes change. And this is a lot of change for the neighborhood, but I think we need to look at what's best for the city. These kinds of meetings, draw developers, city, staff, and neighbors together, but the isn't made in rooms like be so many more people who aren't at the table, ask them growing. We have a housing shortage here and it's getting worse when there's a shortage. Competition is fierce and rents go up, making it even harder for those at the bottom to find a home. I talked to friends who manage residential properties last week and they could see locally are currently less than 1% home prices continue to rise as well.
And more and more families are priced out of our market. Our city council declared a climate emergency last year, and many of us are concerned about climate change in the environment. The neighbors fight to save the trees. They see you don't seem to understand that many more will be taken down to expand roads, to build developments further out neighborhoods to successfully fight infill and forced development to the outskirts that are not served by transit. And when nothing is walkable, put more people in cars for more vehicle miles traveled while they continue to enjoy the luxury of multimodal options in short commute. But you don't get your own air or your own climate. And what you can't see can hurt you. Asheville is lack of affordable housing, environmental effects of sprawl and societal cost of equity or national problems. Nimbyism is pervasive. We know that Duncan mixed income development in walkable neighborhoods is good for community enhances equity and a better for the environment.
But while many of us want sprawl and we want comprehensive transit, we want more affordable housing and we want a more just and equitable community. We also want it to happen somewhere else. There's not many parcels near the city center that can be assembled to provide that mix of housing and retail that this project of this development creates an additional 160 homes, which includes a 10% affordable in a walkable community on the transit line, close to jobs, closest stores and cultural opportunities. Some would prefer to see 13 lovingly restored homes for wealthy families, further isolating the neighborhood from going through change. But is this the right thing for Asheville in January of 2016, council created a 20 plus city. Would you with the statement, cultural diversity and social and economic equality equity are evident in all that we do and all that we do, we have got to stop talking and start doing. Please support the conditionals as requested by the one-on-one Charlotte street project. Thank you so much.
Thank you. Next caller, please. Hello. Um, this has Benji Burrell again. I'm so sorry, but, uh, I, I forgot to mention there's an important, um, set of survey results that that needs to be addressed. I think that we allow others to speak. Uh, there, the, the survey was done by the Asheville city, um, planning department. We need to allow others to speak. I'm sorry.
Hi, this is Kate Rivaa. I live at 10 Moore Avenue in West Asheville, and I like to speak on behalf and in favor of this project as a professional urban planner, and as a resident of seven years of Asheville, I'm deeply concerned about the housing crisis in our city. This project creates 18 brand new deed, restricted affordable units, um, and the existing 21 units that are on the site are not deed restricted. Enter in aging buildings that will likely need costly maintenance say no to projects like this one means saying yes to people of higher wealth buying up homes in my neighborhood of West Asheville and Shiloh and Oakley and other neighborhoods across the County, pushing up prices. The folks that are opposed to this project live in the highest per capita income census tract, inner city. How many new affordable housing units have been built in the Charlotte street or park neighborhood in the past 10 or 20 years?
How many new multi-family units have been constructed in this neighborhood? In the past 10 years, I would venture to say, this number is zero. I see this as economic segregation, you can call it nothing else. According to the cities of Asheville's 2019 Bowen housing study, the city needs 2,400 market rates and upscale market rate rental housing to be built between 2019 and 2024. Not to mention the 4,000 affordable and low-income housing units needed. This project would only be a drop in the bucket towards that goal. If not here, then where every neighborhood in our city needs more multifamily housing projects. The city needs to support and shepherd projects like this one through their process and not find reasons. And a plan written in 1999 to turn them down. Our city is not trapped in Amber. It has to change a recent citizens' times. Article cited that the city of Asheville school district has purchased rental housing for teachers just so they can afford to live near their jobs.
This is absurd. The city is playing a game of checkers. When the real estate market is playing chess, their homes in my neighborhood that are being sold over 50 K over asking price. I humbly asked you to address this crisis and approve projects like this one that contribute to vibrant, mixed use walkable areas so that everyone can participate in our economy and have a livable place to call home. Please work with this developer to make it happen, and then do it another 10 times. And then we'll still need 5,000 more units after that. The time is now. Thank you so much.
Thank you. Next caller. Hi, Mark. Diverges. Are you able to hear me? Yes. Great. Thank you very much for everyone's time tonight, chair commissioners. I had the pleasure of growing up here in Nashville, my young family, and I live at the top end of Baird street. And I look at projects like this as really needing a highlight three things that hit home for me, one accessibility, the existing converted homes are not accessible. If you look at those inside pictures, there's no way to make them accessible for those with disabilities, narrow hallways, stairwells, it's it doesn't address that. Um, and, and this new project would equity as many of the prior. Caller's also pointed out this is a neighborhood historically of older affluent white folks. We need to be mindful of that as to what history whose history would we be encapsulating? What history do we want to be known for moving forward?
And as a chair of the planner page, actually for the Grove park neighborhood association, a lot of the points that this project touches on, that they wanted for the Charlotte street corridor. And then you hear from, so my other neighbors that pointed out for this Charlotte street corridor at this point, this project hits on so many of those aspects that while it may not check the boxes, as Ms tuck had pointed out for our dated guidelines, it hits the spirit and desire and need, uh, for our community and where we want to go. And third, it addresses not only that missing middle of housing, but if you take note of those row houses, those townhomes on Baird street, what I especially love about this project is that it locks in that Baird street remains more of a residential community than what would likely happen if those homes were to be renovated.
Cost-wise the more likely scenario is that they're either going to be extremely overpriced, single family million dollar homes as has been referenced, or what I feel and has been referenced by the preservation society to treat our neighborhood like Biltmore village, that caters for that same demographic of older affluent white folks, that that's not division that our neighborhood wants. We want this vibrant, accessible equity driven, active neighborhood, and this project meets so many of those aspects and really drive some division for what I hope my generation wants and needs for Asheville and what I see for my kids and their first jobs, where we can go to shop being able to bike, walk, roll, however we need to get to places. Thank you very much for your time.
Hello. My name is Bob Saundra and I live at 33 Baird street directly adjacent to the property. Um, slated for development. Um, you mentioned preserving the house on Furman to provide a buffer with the existing structure. Why not consider doing the same on Baird street next to 33 at my house? I disagree with, uh, Mr. Hyatt regarding the house at 25 Baird being, um, uninteresting. It is essentially the same as, uh, the house I live in, which I've lived in for 14 years. It's just been covered in aluminum siding and, uh, makes me think that the wood siding could still be intact. The wraparound porch was closed in, uh, to add another room.
And one question I have is that, is that a public access to the common area on Baird street next to, um, my property. Um, I couldn't figure that out from your drawing. And also I would like to go on record as being against this project as it, as it is presented tonight. Uh, and because of, uh, all the reasons that were mentioned and the PMC staff report of April 30th. And that's all I have
My name is Kiki O'Steen Cochran. I live on Albemarle road, uh, below Albemarle place at Von Rock. And, uh, I am within 400 feet of the development. My family has owned my bungalow for over 80 years. I was born in it and retired back to it 15, 10, 12 years ago. Um, I can answer a question that was asked before the break about whose history are we trying to preserve? Um, these streetcar suburbs would not be on the Sanborn map because they weren't built until between about 1924, 1927, and streetcar suburbs are conserved all over the country. Um, they are historical, it was a new concept in the arts and crafts era. It was to bring, uh, socioeconomic levels together in one place in reaction to the golden age and the elite, as an extent in neighborhoods that were being developed. So this is a street car suburb, um, Baird street.
I don't find it interesting. There's a Dutch revival home several down from Mr sonograph and, uh, Dr. Kellyann's home himself, which is in the, uh, upper central part of the block is a Richard Sharpe Smith home who was a prominent architect and designed for instance, St Mary's and many other things around here. I am a preservationist. Yes. Um, I D I do want to see a Hardy development on Charlotte street. The preservation society with volunteers has drawn up a lovely potential, excuse me, a level of potential, a possibility where the homes on Charlotte that front Charlotte street are saved and built onto the back side and broken up into apartments. So, you know, the idea that they would only be for rich people, uh, I don't think that dog hunts, but, uh, uh, that is to me very important that we keep our historic areas. And as I pointed out in my letters, most cities who have done that, the tourism that they have, which is vibrant, can bring in maybe even more income than the property tax that might help the city in these cases.
And that's all I have to say about that, but I also have a question I want to, or maybe it's just a comment I want to say. I really appreciate the reassurance. All 75 emails were read. And, um, the comment was made earlier that, uh, only a small percent of the city, uh, that those 75 emails only represented a small percentage of the city. Um, on the other hand, I heard I'm pretty sure in the last P and Z meeting that, and I'm asking if this is true, that only people that were within two to 300 yards of the development would have standing. I don't think that's official. I think it's unofficial, but I did hear it was Charlotte street letters being cited as an example, um, this affects much more than just the people, uh, within the blocks adjacent. Um, and I'm not going to talk, I'm really not talking about traffic per se, but the DLT report that I read, um, did say the traffic impact was reasonable because it was only made between 20 and 22 cars during the peak hours that must've been prorated over several hours, but at the same time, the report then discussed the necessity of enlarging, the exit lanes, uh, entry and exit due to the traffic.
And those were, those two statements are not okay. I'm very close to finished another few seconds. Um, and also, uh, the entry and exit is going to be a big expense to handle traffic. That's only supposed to be 20 to 22 cars, and it doesn't even consider the new proposal, et cetera. Thank you very much, everyone. Thank you.
Yes, we can hear you. Good. Um, thank you so much for staying late and for all that the whole entire team has done on this project accolades to the design team and everyone I approved the overall concept to this. Susan locked us, sorry. Um, I just hope that at the next iteration of this effort, that there can be a little bit more, um, attention put into the same concept that you did for the Fermin street house and just see if you can't possibly incorporate some of the other historic structures in very, very creative ways and maybe increase the density in the areas in the center of the block to make up your, um, necessary density that you're trying to do per years. Um, project, I also have a question about the parking deck, whether it has
Hi, please state your name. Can you hear me? Yes. Hi, Brendan. ROJ, uh, two 65 Charlotte street. Uh, I just want to call on voice my opposition to this project. Uh, although callers who did call in voice support, uh, they made some very good points and I believe that most, if not all of us who are against the project, we want those same things. We want more housing. We want more business. We want to include everybody into our neighborhood. Uh, however, we want to do that in a way that maintains the unique character of Charlotte street. Um, you know, Charlotte streets different than South slope and, uh, West Asheville and each one of those neighborhoods has a unique characteristics that attract people. And we want to preserve the unique characteristics of Charlotte street, um, and simultaneously being able to develop and grow, and we believe it can be done. Uh, it's a little bit more work, but it can be done, uh, especially given that the preservation of neighborhoods of historic areas is a, you know, big financial driver, uh, and benefits both the community at large and can benefit the individual private owners. Thank you.
Can you all hear me? Yes. Please state your name. I am Leif Olsen. I live in the Charlotte street neighborhood. And, uh, just a couple comments. Um, yeah, I, I guess I am curious to hear specifically, uh, which trees are coming down, um, because a lot of those ones, um, they mentioned how someone was talking about how the, uh, the street front was kind of dead now, but it does have some very large old specimens biological specimens, those trees there. And so I know those ones would probably have to come down, but I know there's some bigger trees that are further back on the property. And I was wondering if there would be opportunity to keep some of those up, because even if there are going to be a bunch of trees planted in the building process, um, you know, those trees that are already there, you know, I don't know how old they are, but it'd be, you know, several decades to maybe a century before trees would get like that again.
So there is something, uh, part of the, I don't know, the charm and appeal to the neighborhood is that it is very forested. So figuring out a way to kind of maintain that in the future. Use the plan might be nice for maintaining the aesthetics as well as air quality, reducing urban heat Island effects, um, water infiltration, things like that. And then, um, I, I guess I just wanted to point out that, uh, one of the, one of those, well, actually, I, first of all, I want to thank you all for putting in all the time and work on, you know, analyzing this. And it's a, it's a big undertaking. Someone was mentioning, um, how she had a lot of students that worked for her, who, uh, lived in those houses, talked about how the interiors were kind of crappy. And I've known people who lived in some of those houses over the years, and it's not like they weren't in great condition.
I had one friend who was a tenant for a while and the mold or the rug was very moldy and she requested for RCG to do something about it. And they never really got back to her and did anything about it. So she ended up having to remove the Rutgers self. So I just am wondering, I've heard, I've heard questionable things about the track record of the, uh, of the, you know, tenants, um, responsibilities of RSCG. So I, some, you know, curious of how with these kinds of new luxury developments, how they would keep up to those standards. Um, yeah, thanks everyone. That's all I have to say. Thank you.
Hi, my name is Aaron Martino. I live at two 65 Charlotte street. Um, a lot with that early on about the, um, individual merit of the buildings, um, that are proposed to be torn down, but that they didn't have merit. And that's why, um, it wasn't a big issue, but I think we didn't think more broadly about the urban landscape as a whole and how those, how those buildings contribute to the entirety of the urban landscape, which is what's recognized in the national historic district. Um, that's also mentioned that there's only 13 out of 264 contributing buildings in the neighborhood. Um, quick math, that's 5% of the contributing buildings in the Charlotte street, historic district, which isn't entirely insignificant in my opinion. Um, I want to say that I agree with the comments or the recommendation that the project be, um, denied for zoning as designed has currently designed.
I think some comments on the design, if the open corner, um, at the corner of Charlotte street, um, it's meant to be adjuster, uh, gesture to, I guess, um, parking the people from downtown entering the development. Um, but I think the interior of that development will actually become quite a dead zone and especially take activity off of Charlotte street where it's not the main focus should be on the street scape itself. Um, I don't think the scale compatible with the neighborhood in terms of detail and scale. Um, Charlotte, she's very unique and has a lot of different unique buildings. And I think that the proposed building could do more to, um, develop its own character. That's more compatible. Um, I also think that there's a disconnect between the vision of the project and the architecture that's currently being proposed. Um, there's a lot of good intent and certain buzzwords that are abusing being used quite a lot, such as making connection, those activations vibrancy, openness, but I don't think that's what's being achieved. I think the design feels more, um, oppressive and foreboding and, um, well generally become an obstacle for people walking up and down the street. One of those large developments that you kind of want to stop at and turn around and rather than continue path, because there's a lack of natural rhythm. Um, as you, as you pass, it feels like one large hulking mass. Um, so those are my comments and the guarantee. Thank you for your time.
Hello. Can you hear me? Yes. Please state your name. Hi, my name is Lindsay Freeman. I live on Arlington street to very close to the proposed development. Um, and would just like to say that in its current form, I'm opposed to it for several reasons. Um, I am the mother of a young child where a young family who lives in the neighborhood and is concerned with historic preservation. Um, we certainly understand, uh, the need for many things that others have pointed out. Um, affordable housing being a huge one, um, revitalization of the neighborhood, but we have a lot of concerns about the project and its current development. Um, as another person pointed out, you know, our seeds do his own these properties for a long time. And he said, Oh, they're crumbling. Um, but one has the question why if they've owned them for 30 years, they, they weren't kept up.
Um, we moved here from Charleston where these sorts of houses were affordable, student housing. Um, I lived in them throughout college and certainly I think something that can be looked into sensitively, sort of developing the area. Um, if you drive around the neighborhood right now, you can see that the people who live closest to the development, um, are pretty opposed to it. And I think that everybody realizes that development is going to happen and it needs to happen. But, um, there's a long way to go to do that sensitively and, you know, sort of keeping in line with the look and feel of the neighborhood. Um, you know, the old trees and the houses, a lot of, a lot of what we drove by on Charlotte street is why we bought a house here. Um, and the development, as I've seen, I, you know, I could walk, I could walk past that building and any city USA. There's, there's really nothing that stands out about it as, Oh yeah, I'm an Asheville and that Charlotte street. And I think people move here and visit here because they want to see that historic character. Um, and there's, there's certainly ways that we can incorporate that. Um, I think a little more sensitively and, uh, to the benefit of everybody we've talked to.
Thank you. Thank you. That was our last car. We will close for public comment at 10 Oh three. I have received a number of emails this evening prior to getting technical difficulties worked out and it needs to be pointed out that everybody on this commission is a volunteer and not only do we stay this late for meetings frequently every month, but sometimes twice a month. And if you want to share this commission, I suggest you volunteer because I don't like getting the kind of emails that I did from Mr. Richard Korver, for example, the technical difficulties where nobody's fault. And we all had to deal with it. I opened the meeting by stating that we are all having to deal with these meetings remotely for a very good reason. And I don't need to hear criticism from somebody who isn't on this commission and hasn't volunteered to be on it. These meetings often go long and light, and I appreciate everybody's involvement. And everybody who took the time to make input on this project. I appreciate the city staff. I appreciate the design, whether or not I agree with the products.
There are a lot of folks that made comments on this project that are against it. And there are a lot of folks that are for it and their neighbors. And I hope you can find a way to get along just as we have in my neighborhood, after the Larchmont apartments were built, because it was about a 50 50 split on that project. But in hindsight, much like the road diet on Charlotte street, the Larchmont apartments has become an amenity or a good neighbor. I should say it hasn't caused the traffic problems and the parking problems that were forecast by the opposition. So folks, we're now at 10 Oh five and we will, uh, begin to answer some of the questions that were asked by the callers. I think Mr. Archibald has record of those questions. Uh, yes. And I'll just make one other comment, Mr. Houser. Um, not only do we sit in at the meetings, but I'm sure most of my other commission members spend much time going through all of this.
So Joe can, I, I'm sorry to interrupt, but I just got an email. We have two more callers. Who've just entered the queue. And these are people I think, who have been waiting, who were waiting earlier when we were having technical troubles. So, okay. So I think you'll have to reopen public comment.
Hi, good evening. This is Hayes Finley. Thank you so much for reopening the public comment. This has been, um, challenging for everyone. I appreciate it. Um, um, my name is Hayes Finley. I'm an attorney Dr. Rothschild here representing the preservation society of Asheville and Buncombe County. And we 100% agree with the presentation from Shannon tuck that an approach that combines preservation and development hasn't been explored. The question before you is not a binary one. It's not preservation at the expense of development, and that's really not a fair characterization. And it's unfortunate that the preservation societies position has been mis-characterized as anti-development, that's not at all. What we've been saying. The preservation society is asking, and we have 4,000 signatures on our petition, uh, for a creative and unique approach to development that will incorporate news homes into a new project. That's true to Asheville's authentic character and consistent with the living national comprehensive plan.
We've shown in our submittals that there's plenty of acreage for a mixed use development on this block that incorporate these existing homes. As the living Asheville comp plan says Asheville, the city with a unique appeal built around its authentic local character. There is nothing unique or authentic about this project, as it is currently proposed. You could find this proposed development in any city across the country. What makes Asheville unique is the authentic is the historic homes that are treasured by the neighborhood, by the city, by the country. This block involves a federal historic district that is not subjective. Contrary to what Mr. Stevens has said tonight. Construe contributing structures are historic. They have been reviewed and approved by the secretary of interior. And Mr. Stevens does not get to redefine what historic means. The historic resources commission has also considered these homes and voted unanimously to oppose the project and will oppose the demolition of these homes.
These 13 homes are treasured, obviously not by the developers who are proposing to tear them down, but by the community, the neighbors who bought their nearby homes specifically to be in historic, near historic homes. These 12 homes are not beyond repair and they're not, not worth saving. These homes are invaluable because they represent our history and they're irreplaceable. And the preservation society has lined up buyers for every single one of these homes. We've met with Mr. <inaudible> Stevens to try to work together. And we have a firm offer on these homes prepared that could provide the developer with a substantial tax write off, and we hope they'll take us up on it. And just as the developer has proposed to renovate and re and place deed restrictions on one of the homes to keep it affordable, similar arrangements can be made on these other 12 homes.
They are worthy of preservation, and if the developers don't want to do it, it would be a devastating loss for those who would love the opportunity and the staff report presents why this project and consistent with the UDL and the living Asheville comp plan. So I won't belabor this point. Um, but we ask you, please do not recommend approval of this project as proposed, without conditions that will preserve these homes, the things that you like about the project live work basis, local businesses adding in fill development affordability can all still be attained without needing to destroy these homes. This is a six acre project and saving homes with Philly them four acres to develop. Otherwise
This project would irrevocably destroy a treasured piece of history. And instead, please ask the developers to come back with a plan that incorporates these homes into a new, exciting project that is consistent with the comp plan to enhance and celebrate actual heritage rather than approving a project that tarnishes it. Thank you all for letting us speak tonight. And we look forward to engaging with you further. Thank you. That was the last call so far for now.
Okay. So do you want to get into the questions that the commenters had? Yeah, let's do that. Okay. Um, public access off of Baird street, um, I'm looking at the site plan and I believe it is what they were referring to is probably that 30 foot buffer that I believe Ms. Rodin was talking about. Can you go into that in further detail, but before you do that, let me say that we closed public comment for the second time at 10 11.
Correct. It's, it's one we've got North and South and East and West connectivity through the project to our open space, through to the, uh, to the adjacent neighborhoods. And that's, that's part of that area right there in that, that 30 foot, but we're putting it, um, within a buffer area on that part.
So the easiest way to speak to it is, um, to, to kind of state the obvious we are bringing Charlotte street and that front end down more than 10 feet. And so the trees on that side do go away. Um, as we move back through the site, we have, um, specific areas that we can save, but the majority of the existing trees being preserved are around those four parcels that are not part of the project on that upper area. And along the walkway, that'll go, um, back towards Ferman. I will point out that we will, um, this project does meet, um, the new tree preservation canopy ordinance. And we're not asking for any variances on that. And we're doing that, um, primarily with those existing trees on the, uh, on the site that, um, Lindsey is sharing here shows that when the project is all said and done, while we are having to remove trees because of topographic issues, there will be a gain of almost a hundred new hundred trees from where we are today at the finished product.
Okay. All right. Thank you, Ms. Rodin for putting up, uh, putting up that image. Um, another commenter had questioned, um, would it be possible to add height into the center of the block? Um, I think part of that her comment or question was regarding, um, is there anything on top of the parking deck, um, and, you know, had you all thought about adding height to the center of the block to reduce the height along Charlotte street,
Say good and complex question. Um, right now the parking structure is proposed to be single use of as a parking structure and I've been taking notice. I think that's a really good point. Um, at this point we were, we have, you know, we're trying to get sound of the crime outcome, but certainly we did about a hundred different sketches to get where we are now in different layouts. But for right now,
And point out that, um, there is the above, there is no, um, habitable space proposed above the parking structure. It is solely a parking structure and, and the, really the goal of not putting habitable structure there or habitable space or going taller in the middle was to balance out the elevations and work with the topography so that we didn't have any, um, section that, that stuck up higher than, than what you see out there today. So some of the cross sections that you saw that Lindsay presented earlier, where they're really showing that the, the two-story on affirming as you project that down and work with the topography, we've been able to keep everything tucked, tucked below that and use the topography. So we're trying to be sensitive not to, to create, uh, a center area that gets significantly taller.
Were a couple of comments, um, that I'm not sure one is, is maybe not quite, um, appropriate to address in this because it has more to do with, um, some other legalities, um, Mr. Stephens, you may want to take this, uh, you know, there was some comment about, uh, RCG and, and how they operate as a landlord. I will let you, if you, if you wish to address that.
Yeah, no, I don't. I mean, I'm not sure that's fair. You know, I mean, it's like two layers of hearsay and that statement, the guy was talking about some unidentified friend of his who lived in one of these older homes who had a moldy rug that they didn't replace. And she had to replace herself. She's not here to speak to that. Um, you know, I, I mean this, we could go on forever if we were answer every possible concern, every background, every issue. Imagine, you know, if, if we have to show up at city council and I've got to bring five witnesses, you talk about what, what a great company they are, from what I know about them, Mr. Altra balls, they're a great company. They know what they're doing. They have done historic renovation, uh, in the Northeast, they've done it here. They're working with Achille and family to preserve the common work. Uh, there they are sophisticated, serious operator. And I'm confident that when this project is, they will continue to be a professional, uh, appropriate landlord for this community.
All right. Um, the last one and you know, this is, I know the preservation society has, has put together some, you know, information. They have that, uh, I think what they're calling a creative proposal, um, on the board that, that the last caller talked about. Can you speak at all to, to what that caller commented about? Or, or are you at Liberty, I guess I should say to speak about that in this form.
Yeah. So there's two issues that I think were raised there. One was we have a creative solution and it's really great. We've seen a cartoon drawing Mr. Archibald, um, that, that would sort of wrap the homes on Charlotte street with, uh, multifamily and would build density around the existing homes on bear, uh, in and up to, uh, ferment. Um, it would, it would require underground parking if I'm remembering correctly, there's no pricing associated with it. It's, uh, it's just a, you know, one person or a couple of people's, um, dream idea of how they would do it. I can tell you, my client has no interest in that. It wouldn't make sense financially. They couldn't create the number of units. I think the total number that, that they're playing in California with significantly fewer than 180 work you're proposing. Oh, and by the way that they want us to remove the Asheville arms, they don't like how it looks.
So that would destroy 56 highly functional workforce housing units. So no, we're not going to consider their creative solution proposal. We don't think it makes sense economically or, or, or design wise or, or if we're in for anything. And so I apologize, I'm getting a little testy it's late, but, but that's, I mean, anyway, it's, it's not acceptable. The other issue that I think this, uh, um, Finley floated was that they've made an offer to buy the property. Let's be clear. They gave us a written option to purchase the property. They would pay us $5,000 to have the right, to lock it up for six months. That's what we've received. That's not an offer. Now. I had exchanged phone messages, uh, with their attorneys, uh, and they indicate that they have an offer. And we heard today for the first time they have an offer for each and every one of the houses. That's fine. We're not selling them. We have a different vision for this property, and it is not, uh, to preserve these old cut-up homes for, uh, for some future, uh, renovation, uh, for high-end, um, individuals, because that's what it would be. And evidently that's their vision. We don't share that vision.
Hi, I'd like to, um, also express appreciation for not just our volunteer commission and our applicant, but to everybody who's been listening and being patient with the technology, this is not easy. And this technology was not designed to go past five hours, which is why we've been having some issues. Um, and, uh, also I do think the gold star for hanging in there tonight goes to <inaudible> for all of his power outages. I believe he's in his car listening to this meeting. So I just wanted to give a shout out to geo for all of that effort.
Even in my neighborhood, and I guess we're getting power back at 1:00 AM. So until 1:00 AM and this office guest, well, I think my power's going out. Yeah. Personally, so, yeah. And despite my earlier comments, I do think the presentation looks really good. I, um, I just like to throw a little wild comment in there from time to time. Uh, so yeah, I really appreciate the presentation and the staff report and all the comments. Thank you.
I do have some other comments and, and they kind of revolve around, um, the conditions. Um, I don't know though how much more we want to get into tonight. What is, what is everyone feeling? And, or I guess I should look and see this would be continued to date certain, correct?
Sure. Well, I mean, I think this is stuff that, you know, again, it would be similar to what we were talking about with the previous project where Mr. Stevens and excuse me, Mr. Day, Ms. Roman would want to go, you know, have some, some conference about it, especially excuse me with, uh, you know, with their client. Um, and I certainly appreciate the proposal. Um, I, I am for density, certainly for housing, um, mixed types of housing housing that, um, you know, works for a variety of people. Um, a proposal that is this large, you know, as a CZ, you know, we're allowed to kind of look at it. We don't have to look at it just from a technical standpoint, we're allowed to look at it for many different standpoints. Um, and one of the things that, that has influenced kind of how I've looked at this project is the recently per Pat recently passed hotel benefits table.
Um, you know, what does this project provide for the community? Um, you know, there is the loss of some houses that are there. Um, I'm not gonna use any other terms other than housing units. Um, you know, there's, there's a business that was there. I'm not sure if it's still is there. Um, you know, there's, there are benefits to it. There are things that they're going to be doing. They're going to be improvements to the bike lane. There's going to be affordable housing there's, um, you know, some, some live work opportunities there. Um, but you know, you kind of have to weigh all those and see, you know, are the benefits outweighing any of the detriments or concerns that are, that are taking place? Um, I really would like to see a 20, 80, 20 affordable housing, you know, 20% of the units at 80% AMI for 20 years.
Um, I would love to see 10, 10 80 20 for the, for sale units. Um, so 10% of the, for sale, 80% AMI for 20 years. Um, and I would also like to see two of the live work units being for sale. I think that would be a really key, um, piece to get these small businesses. Um, you know, someone who's just starting a business. It is, it's hard for them to rent office space if they need that kind of public frontage and like rent a space and astronauts. I mean, let's face it, you know, housing costs are high, so we're so as an office, if you can have that in one space, you know, that certainly helps these, you know, these, um, growing businesses. Um,
I like, and I understand the size and the height is required for that density. Um, I really would like to see if it's possible maybe to shift some of that. I kind of liked the idea of the one comment or had about pushing some of this height into the core. I mean, I think it would be nice to have a slightly lower frontage on Charlotte street to give it a more pedestrian feel. Um, again, I understand why it's like that, but I think there may be some more balanced, some more push and pull that can happen with this project. I feel like the project is 75 or 80% there, and it just needs a few extra tweaks to get it to where it's just a really great project, because I do think that, you know, this is a corridor that needs it. The city needs everything that is, that is in this project. Um, and it just needs those few extra little tweaks to kind of get it to where it's, it's a really great, wonderful project. So, um, you know, I appreciate all the time that the team has put into it, um, you know, before the seeming all the commenters and, and certainly all of my fellow commissioners and hanging in there until this late hour.
Yeah. I mean, they, they kind of have that already, you know, that that fifth floor is stepped back. I'm thinking that, you know, particularly like a long, um, East Chestnut, you know, I'm kind of looking at the elevation and, you know, part of me wants to say East Chestnut really should just be three stories. Um, but I think there's a part of that corner that that could be for and could work as for, you know, maybe that fifth story is, you know, I don't want to say it's the purposeless again, I get where it's coming from. You know, they're trying to hit these densities for, you know, what Mr. Stevens talked about before the proformance. I mean, it's, it's, let's face it affordable housing and housing in general is about the bottom line. Um, but I think this is one of those, those places where it's not in the CBD, so, you know, it could have a higher density, but maybe this is just a little too much, like it just needs a little bit nice to pull back just a little bit as far as how much is, is there height-wise
Forgive me for not knowing, is this a dialogue or is this comment time? Cause I wouldn't mind sharing one more time just to make sure I did a good job of explaining it earlier on East Chestnut. Pretty much, pretty soon after the corner, it jumped to four stories and then it jumps to three stories.
I'd like to make a comment if I could. Can people hearing please? Yes. Um, hi, hello from Helen's spreads. Um, this one has to do more with process and how this goes forward. Should this condition was only to be granted. Then the, the consultants will go back to the drawing board and refine this. And, um, there are a lot of things I do like about the project, um, especially the, the, the, the, what is, what I saw as suggested uses of materials, uh, the public art elements, such as the balconies and so forth and the public amenities. Those are great. What I'm concerned about is you go back to the drawing board and you put numbers to these desirable aspects of the detailed design is that they're going to be value engineered out. And I'm concerned that what we get as a final project, won't be as slick and, and, and detailed and interesting as the pictures in the renderings that were, were, were being presented tonight. That's my only comment.
Not at all, Tony, I just I've been in situations like when you come to, when you make a proposal of this magnitude, I think it is incumbent upon the consultant to show the, the, the big picture. Would you give the a hundred percent knowing that you probably kind of come back with maybe 80%? And so it is, it is, it is their, their obligation to show the, the, the really beautiful detailing and all those things that add visual enhancement to the project, but can be easily pulled out when you go into the details and you look at the numbers. I don't know. I really don't know how to answer what happens between when we make a decision, what council makes a decision. I just, I'm just, I'm voicing a concern that the final product will maybe devoid of some of these, these things that currently give the project some richness and some architectural detailing that may not be included in the final project. Uh, and that's just the comment. I don't know how to fix that. I don't know how to really word it. I, I don't think we can get a guarantee, um, at this point. So that's just, I don't know what else to say.
Well, I, you know, I think Mr. Rodriguez, some of that, you know, in the, as part of the approval, I mean, it has to match and, and Shannon, you can help me with the exact wording, but it has to substantially match the documents that are submitted with the proposal. So if they've called out all these details and they take them away, then, then it doesn't substantially match what they submitted.
That that is true. Um, for the detail that we have, um, I think there is a desire for some more detail to kind of check for that compatibility and, and to be able to kind of have some, a higher level of assurance of what we can expect, what the final product. So for the last, uh, for the last project we were, we basically said, you know, wait with a, there need to be some plan changes made
Before we would have conditionally approved this, uh, for this one I know in the staff report, it sounded like you needed more information, or we still, um, because we were deciding whether or not to recess tonight, would we still say, we've got some comments. Can you go back to the developer and make some changes and then bring it back?
Hi, can I speak to that as chairman, um, please that this project is vastly more complex and much farther down the road than 70 mils gap road, where we didn't have any, any kind of the level of detail that we've proposed tonight that we've been working on for 16 months, we respectfully disagree with the staff's recommendation that we hold off, um, on, on a vote on this project, because we're gonna continue designing to somehow incorporate these traditional homes that I think a number of our college made it clear that not everybody in the neighborhood thinks they ought to be preserved. We don't think they ought to be preserved. We think this was a great project. Mr. Rodriguez, I hear you loud and clear. I share your concern about the final product being high quality. I can say this, the killing and family, uh, continues to be a major significant owner of this project.
Their name is associated with this project. It matters a great deal to them that what we represented tonight will be what is in the finished product. And it matters to me as well. I would say, of course, if the consensus of this board is you want more detail, or you want us to go back to the drawing board before you can vote, we'll consider that. But I think, I, I think we've, I think we have shown you what we are intending to build. And we would like to have your vote in favor of this project, going to the city council. And we think we're entitled to that vote at the next meeting in June. If you get some additional comments in the next 24 hours, and we show back up in June and, and you, you know, you, you, you still have heartburn about it and you want us to go, let's, let's cross that bridge when we get to it. Um, but I, I really feel like we, we have made a significant effort understanding the full weight of the importance of this project, to the neighborhood and to the city. And, and, and we would ask for a vote in a, in a month upper down.
I wanted to let the commission though that we've lost our YouTube stream. Um, and it went out about 20 minutes ago and they, our tech staff were trying to solve it. They've been unable to kind of figure it out. They would have to do a whole new stream and set up a whole new meeting. Um, and I, I kept thinking we were almost done. So I told them not to, because we were so close to being done. So, but this continues. Do you want me to try to contact them, to ask them to restart a YouTube feed? Or are we about ready to wrap up?
Yeah, that's awesome. Yeah. I was about to say, I wasn't ready to make a motion to recess. Um, I will just make one real quick comment, Mr. Stevens. I do appreciate everything that you and your team have brought tonight. Um, I think my one sticking point that, you know, if I had a sticking point with this right now, um, it's the affordable housing piece. This is a big project and we really, really, really need housing in this area. And I really would like to see that 20, 80, 20 period. So, um, with that, um, I would like to make the motion, uh, move to recess the public hearing for the project known as the Charlotte street mixed use development located off of Charlotte street, East Chestnut street from an Avenue and Baird street to date certain of June 2nd, 2021 second. We have a motion to recess by Mr. Archibald. And a second by Mr. Rodriguez, we will take a vote. Ms. Levi. Hi, Mr. Hoke, Mr. Archibald. Hi, Mr. Rodriguez. Aye. Aye. Aye, aye. Also motion passes unanimously. That is the end of the items on our agenda. Our next meeting will be at five o'clock on June 2nd. Motion to adjourn. And thank you everyone. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank everybody. I really appreciate it. Thank you everyone. Thank you very everyone. Thank you. Everyone else has left the call.