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Asheville, NC Code of Ordinances
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Sec. 7-8-1. Enumeration and description of districts; designation of districts on official zoning maps.
(a)   Criteria for zoning districts. For the purposes set forth in article I, the City of Asheville and its extraterritorial jurisdiction are divided into zoning districts taking into account the design, size, and/or location of one or more of the following:
(1)   Transportation facilities, including streets, sidewalks, and bridges;
(2)   Schools, parks, greenways, and other public facilities and requirements;
(3)   Police protection;
(4)   Fire protection;
(5)   Sanitary sewer and stormwater drainage structures;
(6)   Water supplies for purposes of fire protection and consumption;
(7)   Access and location to other utility services;
(8)   Potential hazards from fire, flooding, and diseases;
(9)   Access to light and air from buildings;
(10)   Access for fire and police protection and refuse collection;
(11)   Protection for occupants of dwellings from noise, dust, and gases caused by traffic and other uses;
(12)   Topography and other natural features; and/or
(13)   Current uses of land and buildings for residences, businesses, industries, places of worship, schools, and for other uses and heights of buildings, the size and location of yards, and the density of population in each of the zoning districts hereinafter mentioned.
(b)   Enumeration and descriptions of zoning districts. There are three types of zoning districts:
(1)   General use districts are those in which a variety of uses are permitted. The general use districts established in this article are classified from "highest" to "lowest" in the following order:
         RS-2 Residential Single-Family Low-Density District
         RS-4 Residential Single-Family Medium Density District
         RS-8 Residential Single-Family High Density District
         RM-6 Residential Multi-Family Low Density District
         RM-8 Residential Multi-Family Medium Density District
         RM-16 Residential Multi-Family High Density District
         Neighborhood Business District
         Office District
         Office II District
         Office/Business District
         Community Business I District
         Community Business II District
         Urban Residential District
         Neighborhood Corridor District
         Haywood Road Form District
         River Arts Form District
         Urban Village District
         Urban Place District
         Resort District
         Institutional District
         Highway Business District
         Regional Business District
         Central Business District
         River District
         Commercial Industrial District
         Light Industrial District
         Industrial District
      For any district where an overlay district is found, the overlay district shall have the same order as the general use district for the purpose of determining its hierarchy under the table.
(2)   Overlay districts are zoning districts which overlap one or more general use districts. Overlay districts (article IX) involve additional regulations on some or all property within underlying general use districts. The following overlay districts are established:
a.   Reserved.
b.   Historic preservation overlay district(s). Asheville's historic areas are important assets to the city. The protecting and conserving of the historic areas is encouraged through the establishment of historic preservation overlay districts. Designation of an area as a historic district and the development of design standards for the area help preserve the architectural integrity of the area and stabilize and enhance property values. Historic districts, protected by designation as preservation overlays, serve as valuable educational tools and as tourist attractions.
c.   Downtown design review overlay district. Urban design review assists in protecting the downtown local architectural heritage and in the preservation of the considerable economic investments that have occurred over the years. The downtown design review process seeks to encourage renovation and new development in a manner that will promote visual harmony, enhance the historical integrity, and develop creative design solutions. While the design guidelines will not dictate architectural styles, they will suggest a variety of design options for achieving compatibility within the designated boundaries.
d.   Manufactured housing and manufactured housing community overlay districts. The manufactured housing and manufactured housing community overlay districts are established to provide a procedure for identifying areas in which manufactured housing may be located and to establish standards for individual manufactured homes and for the development of communities. These overlay districts are intended to expand the range of housing opportunities available to residents of Asheville while assuring that manufactured housing is compatible with existing development.
e.   Blue Ridge Parkway Overlay District. Realizing the importance of the Blue Ridge Parkway to the economy of Asheville and western North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway Overlay District is created to protect and preserve the unique features of this asset to the city. The standards established in this district will protect the scenic quality of the parkway and reduce encroachment on its rural setting.
f.   Transition overlay district. Several areas in the City of Asheville are experiencing development pressures which are pushing the areas toward change. The location of most of these area on the edge of residential neighborhoods means that changes in these areas could have a significant impact on the adjacent neighborhoods. Transition overlay districts are established to allow these areas to change while assuring that the change is compatible with adjacent areas. Standards are developed individually for each area and designed to meet each area's unique needs. Involvement of area property owners and residents in the preparation of development standards is encouraged.
(3)   Conditional districts are zoning districts which provide for flexibility in the development of property while ensuring that the development is compatible with neighboring uses. Conditional zoning districts are available for any of the general use zoning classifications enumerated in this ordinance; moreover, there are certain conditional districts that are not associated with an existing general use district and may only be considered with Level III developments. These districts include:
         Central Business Expansion District
         Institutional Expansion District
         Commercial Expansion District
         Residential Expansion District
         Industrial Expansion District
         Lodging Expansion District
         Mixed Use Expansion District
(c)   Designation of districts on official zoning maps. Each district shall be shown on the official zoning maps of the City of Asheville, North Carolina, a copy of which is located in the city planning and development department. Said set of maps, and all district designations, boundaries, figures, letters, and symbols shown on such maps are hereby declared to be a part of this chapter.
(d)   Table of Permitted Uses. The table is a summary listing of uses that are fully defined in section 7-2-5.
(1)   Any use not listed is not allowed unless the planning and development director determines that the use is similar to a listed use. When determining whether a proposed use is similar to a listed use, the planning and development director will consider the following:
a.   The actual or projected characteristics of the proposed use.
b.   The relative amount of site area or floor area and equipment devoted to the proposed use.
c.   Relative amounts of sales.
d.   The customer type.
e.   The relative number of employees.
f.   Hours of operation.
g.   Building and site arrangement.
h.   Types of vehicles used and their parking requirements.
i.   The number of vehicle trips generated.
j.   How the proposed use is advertised.
k.   The likely impact on surrounding properties.
l.   Whether the activity is likely to be found independent of the other activities on the site.
(2)   Where a use is determined not to be similar to any listed use, a text amendment is required prior to establishment of that use.
(Ord. No. 2369, § 1, 5-27-97; Ord. No. 3156, § 1, 8-24-04; Ord. No. 3157, § 1(a)(2), 8-24-04; Ord. No. 3328, § 1(i), 1-24-06; Ord. No. 3483, § 1(b), 6-2-07; Ord. No. 3700, § 1c, 2-10-09; Ord. No. 3959, § 1b, 4-12-11; Ord. No. 4007, § 1b, 9-13-11; Ord. No. 4233, § 1c, 9- 24-13; Ord. No. 4342, § 1c, 9-9-14; Ord. No. 4417, § 1, 5-26-15; Ord. No. 4431, §§ 1b, c, 6-23-15; Ord. No. 4448, § 1b, 9-8-15; Ord. No. 4470, § 1b, 11-17-15; Ord. No. 4560, §§ 1j, k, 2-14-17; Ord. No. 4608, § 1(b—d), 8-22-17; Ord. No. 4646, § 1(c), 11-14-17; Ord. No. 4637, § 1h, 1-9-18; Ord. No. 4836, § 1(d), 10-27-20; Ord. No. 4855, § 1(n), 2-23-21; Ord. No. 4361, § 1i, 3-23-21; Ord. No. 4978, § 1, 10-25-22; Ord. No. 5010, § 1(a), 4-25-23; Ord. No. 5028, § 1a, b, n, 7-25-23; Ord. No. 5057, § 1i, 1-13-24)