AREN 006: Asheville Density Lot Reduction

Asheville Density Lot Reduction.

If you’re a property owner in Asheville, or if you’ve considered purchasing property within city limits, you may be aware of restrictions on lot size and frontage. The city sets minimums for both parameters, with the intent to control building density in Asheville. While it’s important to control the number of buildings being constructed and their proximity to one another, minimums that are too high can pose a threat to development and place strict limitations on property owners within city limits.

Currently, the minimum lot size within city limits is 5,000 square feet, with a minimum road frontage of 50 feet. A recent proposal sought to reduce the minimum lot size by 20% to 4,000 square feet, and the road frontage proportionally to 40 feet. This would have allowed a higher density of housing, as well as other types of building and development.

As of now, the city has pulled the proposed reduction from their agenda indefinitely. The removal from consideration was largely due to the concept of impervious surface. An impervious surface is any surface within a buildable area that does not allow rainwater to penetrate into the ground – this constitutes the footprint of the house, its driveway, any porches, decks, or other constructed surfaces. New regulations at the state level may decrease the allowable impervious surface area on any given property, and, in an effort to avoid potential violations of these regulations, the planning and zoning board in Asheville pulled the proposed changes from the agenda entirely.

While there are those who feel that this is victory, and who would prefer to see a lower density of buildable lots in Asheville, for those who work in real estate and depend upon buildable property for their livelihood, the lack of consideration for the proposal was disappointing. For investors like Asheville Cash Buyers, the change in agenda has been frustrating.

“It would have opened up a lot of buildable areas here in the city,” says Rodrigo Afanador, founder of Asheville Cash Buyers and President of the Carolina Real Estate Investors Association. “As anybody who lives in Asheville knows, there’s a huge demand for housing right now, and that demand has created a very big increase in prices. One of the things that would have been beneficial would have been to increase the buildable lots here in the area, and add some more supply to the market.” This, he says, could have potentially dropped housing costs to a more reasonable level, and allowed more people to access the market as home buyers.

Of course, the City of Asheville is always making changes and considering new options, and, with an ever-increasing public interest in housing and the rising costs thereof, it’s very likely that a modified or entirely new proposal could be placed back on the table. Regardless of what happens, it will be interesting to watch and see what new developments may happen in the coming months and year.

To learn more about how zoning regulations may affect you, or to find out more about Asheville Cash Buyers and selling your home in Asheville for cash, contact us today at 828-581-9316 or visit us at AshevilleCashBuyers.com!

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