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Policy / Development

The Asheville Downtown Association advocates for policy and smart development that will benefit downtown for business and property owners, employees and residents.

Downtown Master Plan
In 2007, Asheville City Council authorized and funded the development of a Master Plan for Downtown Asheville. Work on the plan began in 2008 and included a series of public meetings. The final plan was adopted by council in 2009. Several current and former members of the ADA board of directors were on the Downtown Master Plan Advisory Committee.

Strategies in the Downtown Master Plan include experiencing downtown, shaping downtown and managing downtown.
• Experiencing Downtown - cultivating creative, cultural and historic character while expanding convenient choices for access and mobility
• Shaping Downtown - Update downtown design guidelines to promote sustainable development and make project review transparent, predictable and inclusive of community input
• Managing Downtown - create an active management system for downtown that nurtures a sustainable and resilient economy

The Downtown Commission, a council-appointed board, is charged with implementing the Downtown Master Plan. The commission formed the Downtown Master Plan Action Committee which is made up of five sub-committees - Arts and Culture, Historic Preservation, Transportation and Parking, Urban Design and Development and Downtown Management.

View the Downtown Master Plan and learn more about the Downtown Commission.
Smart and sustainable development is vital to any downtown or any city for that matter. At times, the ADA’s issues committee weighs in on proposed development projects in the central business district.

In an interesting and thought-provoking article, our former executive director and urban planner, Joe Minicozzi, argues that smart development in downtown yields not only greater property and sales tax revenue, but also creates jobs while consuming a fraction of the land necessary for a single-use development like a suburban shopping center. Read the full article here.

Click here to be linked to the City of Asheville’s development standards and development review process for Downtown Asheville.