Attorney Louis Bissette – Beaucatcher Flats Receives Zoning

Asheville-beautcher-flats-city-councilASHEVILLE – A 97-unit apartment complex is planned for the lower slope of Beaucatcher Mountain.

The Beaucatcher Flats apartment complex received conditional zoning approval by a unanimous City Council vote Tuesday.

beaucatcher-flats-asheville-north-carolinaThe complex will include a pool and will be built on three acres along Florence Street that was graded and had a retaining wall built in 2007, though work stopped after that. A one-bedroom apartment in the complex is expected to cost $1,050, said attorney Lou Bissette, who was representing the developers, South Slope Partners LLC based in Charlotte.

Councilman Jan Davis said the complex would provide housing “close to where people can work” and would use a piece of property that has been in limbo.

“We have property here that has been sitting for a long time without development,” Davis said.

Developers agreed to work with Helpmate, a domestic violence victims shelter nearby. Shelter officials had concerns about increased traffic, pedestrian safety and the chance that assailants of shelter residents could blend in with other traffic parked along the street.

Fixes will include additional sidewalks and lighting.

Other concerns came from neighbors over the location of a dumpster near their homes. Developers said distance and vegetative buffers should eliminate any nuisance.

Councilman Gordon Smith said conditional use zoning permits don’t allow the city to mandate housing prices. But Smith said he was concerned about the rental costs; technicians and others who work at Mission could not afford to live at Beaucatcher Flats.

“Everyone is aware of the affordable housing crisis we have here in the city of Asheville,” Smith said.

Bissette responded that it was an expensive piece of property to build on and that developers had to show a certain profit to get financing.

“With some of the apartments I’ve seen, this is a much lower rate,” the developers’ attorney said.

The complex is described as having four levels, though because of the land’s slope it would be only one level above portions of the street, city staff said. A 106-space parking lot is planned. Unit density comes to just less than 30 units per acre.

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