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Public Meeting on 767 NHC Development and HCCA's Response

12/02/2023 5:05 PM | Christina Maggi (Administrator)

On November 28, at a required public meeting held at Evergreen Community Charter School, Warren Sugg from Civil Designs Concepts, presented the proposed development plan for the 26-acre property at 767 New Haw Creek Road. The rendering shared with the 200+ in attendance, calls for 95 homes to be built on this landmark property located in the center of the Haw Creek valley (see below).

To the collective shock of nearly all present, the proposed development would transform the bucolic pasture and hardwood forest into high-density housing that exceeds current zoning standards.

Specific concerns about the proposal include:

~ The near total loss of tree canopy and animal habitat resulting from this design
~ Strain of increased traffic on two-lane New Haw Creek Road, especially around pick-up and drop-off times at the two schools located along New Haw Creek Road
~ Safety concerns in the case of an emergency—narrow, two-lane New Haw Creek Road is, for most of the valley, the only way in or out
~ Demand for Conditional Zoning to allow increased density out of scale and character with the surrounding community
~ Lack of developer commitment to affordable housing component
~ Lack of imagination in design, i.e. cookie-cutter approach

In response, the HCCA Board of Directors held an emergency meeting the following evening. The board opposes this development as planned and came up with a plan of action to try to stop it. We invite you, our neighbors, to help. To be clear, HCCA is not opposed to development per se, which is inevitable, but we object to this specific plan. We believe this proposal fails the test of smart planning and good design.

Here are our initial steps:

~ We are organizing a Working Group to collaborate on action steps. We have invited about 15 people who have various skill sets and experiences, and who represent Happy Valley and the surrounding area. This group will meet on Monday, December 4.

~ We have created a webpage, 767 Development
to serve as a central informational resource regarding this development. There, you will find the steps we are planning to take and what you can do to help, along with information on the conditional zoning process, upcoming meetings, public comment opportunities, etc. This page will be updated and expanded with new information on an ongoing basis.

The sale of the property is not yet final. Additionally, this development will require review by the Asheville Planning and Zoning Commission and others, with opportunities to make our concerns heard. Ultimately, the development will require a vote of approval by the majority of City Council.

The Board of Directors of HCCA are your neighbors who care deeply about the future of our community. We are committed to our mission to enrich lives, protect our natural beauty and promote safety throughout the Haw Creek Valley.

As a board, we will fight this development and we ask for your help so we can work together to demand better. There are some very wise, experienced, and passionate people in our valley, and together we need to make our voices heard.

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