By Chad Nesbitt
Leicester – The Buncombe County Commissioners are holding a public hearing regarding a 270-unit apartment complex along Leicester Highway on June 12th at 12 pm. The meeting will be held at 30 Valley Street in downtown Asheville.
William Ratchford of Southwood Realty Company has applied for a conditional use permit. The public hearing will be for local Leicester residents to be heard in regard to the 270-unit apartment complex the permit is being applied for by the developer.The location of the proposed apartments is the old egg farm located just up from Jim West & Sons Auto Recycling along Leicester Hwy. According to plans found online at the Buncombe County website, the development will include a total of 503 parking spots with 30 of those being part of a parking garage. The proposal also includes 90 one-bedroom apartments, 132 two-bedroom apartments, and 48 three-bedroom apartments plus a swimming pool and clubhouse.Crystal Ball’s property adjoins the property of the proposed apartments. In a Facebook post, Ball said, “First off, Leicester Hwy is known as death highway for a reason. Then, you add in 270 families, that’s 1080 folks if each unit has a family of four. The road pulling out on the hill in that curve will be horrible/deadly.”
Ball said, “The schools will be over run [sic] in the classrooms. The privacy will be gone. The noise & drama will escalate. The quiet evenings sitting on the porch looking through the gap toward Leicester will be no more. There’s so much more that will change but the worst one is the view! It will be taken from all of y’all! The next time you drive home, coming from Patton Ave, take a look at your surroundings. When you round the curve at Telco look at the view of the round about [sic] Mountain View. It’s the first piece of beautiful land you come to on Leicester Hwy, especially in the fall.”Ball voiced her opposition to the complex in her post saying, “For the ones that don’t want this to happen I beg you to mail, call, email, go to the meeting on the 12th. The more people that fight this rezoning thing the better.”It has not been determined if this is affordable housing or not and the Leicester Leader has left a message for the developer. They have not responded as of this time.
Other developments in the area managed by the Southwood Realty Company include Enka Lake Appartments, Dillworth Appartments, Avalon at Sweeten Creek Apartments, Palisades at Asheville Apartment Homes and Seasons at Cane Creek Apartment Homes.