Woodfin puts Mountain Village zoning on hold

Woodfin last month placed a moratorium on Mountain Village Districts for one year. Photo by Clint Parker.

Woodfin – According to the Town of Woodfin’s ordinance, “The Mountain Village (MV) Residential District was established as a district to permit a range of mixed high-density single-family and multifamily housing types along with limited office, public, civic, and retail uses appropriate within higher density residential areas. It is intended that this district be located near employment centers, shopping facilities, roads and other urban infrastructure capable of handling the demand generated by higher density residential development and/or capable of being upgraded to handle the demands.”

However, last month the Woodfin Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to place a moratorium on any new development of this type of district at their regular monthly meeting held Tuesday, July 21, and was reported in last week’s issue of the Tribune Papers. 

Woodfin Town Attorney Joe Ferikes told the board before the vote, “[Woodfin Town Adminstrator] Eric [Hardy] and I had a meeting with planning and zoning Chairman [Kenneth Razza] and he recommended this. He says that we needed this…that the p and z board wants to work on it and before we approve any other permits in the Mountain Village Zoning he would like a moratorium so that they can work on improvements to the ordinance.”

What “improvements” the planning and zoning board wanted to make was not explained by Ferikes or any of the board members.

The Mountain Village District joins the R7 and the R10 District in having a moratorium placed on new projects. According to Ferikes, the R7 and R10 are also undergoing changes to their ordinances.

Under the current Mountain Village permitted uses are:
  • Residential – Dwellings, multifamily; Dwellings, single-family detached; Dwellings, single-family zero lot line; Cottage clusters; Accessory apartment and Accessory structures.
  • Recreational – Golf courses; Passive parks; Recreational uses, governmental; and Recreational uses related to residential development.
  • Public/semi-public – Community centers; Municipal offices; Fire/police stations and Libraries.

It also limits explicit uses like offices, coffee shops, bakeries, and a number of other uses (see sidebar for list) to not more than 2,000 square feet per business or use unless the planning board specifically approves a larger size as part of the master plan approval.

According to the ordinance, the density standards “..shall be one dwelling unit per 2,500 square feet of lot area (approximately 17 units per acre and there is no structure size standards or “…no minimum lot size for the Mountain Village Residential District. It is expected that any property zoned Mountain Village will be five acres or more in size and that maximum density will be calculated at 2,500 square feet of lot area per dwelling unit.”

The moratorium duration approved by the board will be for a one year period.

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