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2011 NC Planning Conference Development Recovery Incentives that Support Sustainable Development Asheville, NC Panel Discussion Shannon Tuch - Planning & Development Jeff Staudinger - Community Development Robert Griffin - Building Safety. Objectives & Goals.

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2011 NC Planning Conference

Development Recovery Incentives that Support Sustainable Development

Asheville, NC

Panel Discussion

Shannon Tuch - Planning & Development

Jeff Staudinger - Community Development

Robert Griffin - Building Safety

Objectives & Goals

Fulfill City Council’s Strategic Goals

  • Affordable

  • Fiscal Responsibility

  • Job growth & Community Development

  • Green & Sustainable

  • Multi-modal Transportation

    Fulfill goals and objectives of numerous adopted plans

  • Comprehensive Plan

  • Affordable Housing Plan

  • Wilma Dykeman Riverway Plan

  • Economic Development

Economic Forces & Response

  • 2008 – The economy collapses and lending markets freeze → Leads to a dramatic drop in development activity

  • 2008-2012 Permit Extension Act keeps permits alive

  • Planning functions shift from development activity to long range planning

  • Focus → How to support and incentivize development

    (Not just any development though . . .)


  • Grants

  • Low Interest Loans

  • Cost Sharing for Public Infrastructure

  • Fee Rebates

  • Increased Density

    Strategies focused on sustainable

    development projects only!

Grants & Loans

Jeff Staudinger

Director of Community Development

City of Asheville

Land Use Incentive Grants

Required elements

  • Energy Star Certification

  • Assume all legal costs if challenged

  • 20% equity participation by party requesting incentive

  • The proposed development must consist of two or more dwelling units

  • Inside city limits, within ¼ mile of the following major highways to the end of the City’s corporate limits

Land Use Incentive Grants

Public Benefit Points

Green Building/ Energy:

  • Energy Star Certified 5

  • HB Silver 10

  • LEED Silver or HB Gold 20

  • LEED Gold or HB Platinum 30

  • LEED Platinum 40

Land Use Incentive Grants

Public Benefit Points

Affordable Housing

Must agree to 10 year affordability, with rents at

80% of area medium income:

10%+ affordable 10

20%+ affordable 20

30%+ affordable 30

40%+ affordable 40

Land Use Incentive Grants

Public Benefit Points

Workforce Housing

Must agree to 10 year affordability criteria for rents

at 120% of area medium income:

25%+ workforce 5

50%+ workforce 10

75%+ workforce 15

Land Use Incentive Grants

Public Benefit Points

Land Use Incentive Grants

Public Benefit Points

Mixed Use and Transit Orientation

Includes a minimum 20% non-residential 5

Within the Sustainability Bonus area 10

Brownfield Redevelopment 15

Land Use Incentive Grants


  • This policy provides that every 10 points can earn one year of economic incentive.

  • Equivalent to city property taxes in excess of currently assessed taxes for one year annually applied.

  • Dated from the date of release of all occupancy permits and certification of all green building/energy standards designated for the project.

Land Use Incentive Grants


  • Every 10 points can also earn a 10% reduction in the following fees and charges: Zoning Permit, Building Permit, Driveway Permit, Grading Permit, Plan review fees and Water service connection fee.

  • This reduction is in addition to the existing fees rebated for affordable housing projects.

  • Affordable housing projects eligible for the 50% fee waiver are not eligible for additional fee waivers for points garnered for housing affordability, although they can benefit from the “green” additional points

Land Use Incentive Grants


Proposed mixed use/apartment project

Riverside Dr.

  • 200 apartments (180,000 square feet)

  • 40,000 square feet commercial (office and retail)

  • Gold LEED

  • 10% (20 units) “affordable” housing

  • 25% (50 units) “workforce” housing

Land Use Incentive Grants



 Minimum Energy Star

 Eligible Area

 20% Equity

 Two or More Units

Land Use Incentive Grants


Green/Energy Benefit

  • 30 points: Gold LEED

    Housing Benefit

  • 15 Points: 10% affordable

    25% workforce

    Mixed Use/Transportation Benefit

  • 10 points: 20% non-residential

    Sustainability Bonus Area

    Total Points: 55

Land Use Incentive Grants


  • Pre-development Tax Value: $250,000

  • Post-development Tax value: $25,000,000

  • Pre-Development Annual City Tax: $1,050

  • Post-development Annual City Tax: $105,000

    Grant: $103,950 per year for 5.5 years: $571,725

Land Use Incentive Grants


Permit Fees: $250,000

Grant: 55% of eligible fees = $137,500

Land Use Incentive Grants


Total grant = $709,225

2.8% of development costs

Affordable Housing Trust Fund

Basic Stats

  • Created in 2000

  • $7.7 million loaned

  • 751 affordable rental and homeownership units funded (672 Rental; 79 Homeownership)

  • 617 units have been completed

Affordable Housing Trust Fund

  • $600,000 annual investment in prior years

  • $300,000 annual investment in each of past two years due to budget constraints

  • In FY 2010-2011, closed $600,000 in loans, for the production of 72 affordable units.

Affordable Housing Trust Fund

  • Restructured in 2010

  • Rental Housing highest priority

  • Single-family housing limited to construction loans only

Affordable Housing Trust Fund

Current Goals & Priorities:

  • Rental housing

  • Lower per-unit subsidies

  • Final planning and zoning approval

  • One-bedroom and efficiency (studio) units

  • Multi-family properties

  • Projects along transit corridors

  • Higher density and large-scale developments

Affordable Housing Trust Fund


  • A minimum of 20% of the total project units must be affordable

  • Permanent Financing- The required period of affordability for all long term financing will be directly proportional to the loan term (i.e. Developers requesting a 20 year loan term will be required to keep rents affordable for 20 years).

Affordable Housing Trust Fund


Loans are fully amortizing except:

  • Loans for rental housing restricted to families earning less than 60% of the area median income, and with rents affordable to that population, may be amortized at 0.00% interest or interest-only at 2% with principal deferred for up to 20 years.

  • Interest on construction loans may be deferred until the loan principal is due.

Affordable Housing Trust Fund


  • All permanent financing for rental housing will be in the form of secured loans for a term up to thirty (30) years.

  • The Housing Trust Fund will not make grants, forgivable loans, or indefinitely deferred loans.

  • All construction loans will be due and payable 24 months from the date of closing.

Affordable Housing Trust Fund

Housing Trust Fund website

Cost Sharing & Rebates

Robert Griffin

Director of Building Safety &

Development Services Center

City of Asheville

Public Infrastructure: Water

Two Options for Participation

Option 1

50% rebate of water connection fees for “Green” projects

  • Tap & Meter for single family homes

  • Meter for Commercial projects (fees vary based on size of meter)

Public Infrastructure: Water

Option 1


  • Single Family - Tap & Meter = $2,303.00

    Total rebate = $1,151.50

  • Commercial 2” drop-in meter = $9,813.80

    Total rebate = $4,906.90

Public Infrastructure: Water

Option 2 – Cost sharing for new public water line


  • Water is an enterprise fund and water revenue must be reinvested in water infrastructure

  • $200,000 of water fund money set aside every year, projects must compete for available funds

  • Development must meet 80 points from evaluation form

  • Must include 5 or more residential units

  • Minimum 20 year investment payback

  • 50% of infrastructure cost or $100,000, which ever is less

Public Infrastructure: Water

Option 2


  • New 70 unit apartment building

  • All units are “affordable”, scores 90 points on evaluation form

  • Requires new water line extension from main road along new road

  • New line estimated cost is $220,000

  • City participation = $100,000

Permit Rebates

Two Types of Rebates Offered

“Green” Rebates


“Affordable” Rebates

Permit Rebates

Green Rebates

Upon issue of CO and verification:

  • Healthy Built Home = $100

  • Energy Star Rating = $100

  • Geo Thermal installation = $50

  • Solar installation = $50

  • Wind Generator installation = $50

  • Storm water collection for yard sprinkler = $50

  • Rebates are cumulative (withhold $75 for processing)

  • Permit Rebates

    Affordable Housing Rebates

    Fees are paid in full with 50% rebated upon project completion (CO) & verification:

    • Applies to For-sale, Rental, and Rehab projects

    • Includes Building, Engineering, Sewer, Water, and Zoning fees

    Permit Rebates

    Affordable Housing Rebates – For Sale Units

    • Must meet NC State Building Code (manufactured housing included only if it is attached to a permanent foundation and titled as real property)

    • Sale Price Restrictions:

      0 BR $115,000

      1 BR $125,000

      2 BR $145,000

      3 BR $160,000

      4BR $170,000

    • Must provide copy of settlement statement and appraisal

    Permit Rebates

    Affordable Housing Rebates – Rental Units

    • Can be single family or multi-family

    • Set aside for tenants below 80% AMI

    • Requires affordability for a minimum of 10 years (monitored through a local, state or federal program)

    Permit Rebates

    Affordable Housing Rebates – Rehab Units

    • Applies only to single family or multi-family

    • All single family units must be verified to belong to those with an income below 80% AMI

    • Multi-family structures must include a minimum of 3 units that are occupied by tenants with an income below 80% AMI

    Density Bonus

    Shannon Tuch

    Assistant Director of Planning & Development

    City of Asheville

    Density Bonus

    • Named: “Sustainable Development Projects”

    • Offers increased density in exchange for affordable and/or green building.

    • Changed from a Conditional Use Permit application to a Use-by-right application.

    • Has eligibility requirements and includes mandatory and optional elements.

    Density Bonus

    Negotiated Process

    • Worked closely with the Mayor’s task force on Affordable Housing to develop concept and standards

    • Draft is shared with other stakeholders (Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods)

    • Public hearing process provided input from CAN and the larger community – altered final product

    Density Bonus

    Eligibility Requirements

    • Project site must be located within 1/8 mile of key transportation corridors.

    • Must be a minimum of 5 units & must be energy star certified

    Density Bonus – 1st Draft Map

    Density Bonus

    Mandatory elements

    • Good Neighbor Agreement

    • Design compatibility standards

    • Deed restrictions on affordable units

    • Certification of LEED or Healthy Built units

    • Parking

    • Building orientation & design

    • Pedestrian orientation/multi-modal features

    Density Bonus

    Optional Elements

    • Projects may be affordable and/or green

    • Affordable: points assigned based on features of the project

    • Green: based on LEED or NC Healthy Built (NCHB)

    Density Bonus


    • 50-80 points = 20% density bonus

    • 81-100 points = 50% density bonus

    • 100+ points = 100% density bonus

    Density Bonus

    • Green Building:

    • NCHB Silver = 20% density bonus

    • LEED Silver or NCHBGold = 40% density bonus

    • LEED Gold or NCHBPlatinum =  60% density bonus

    • LEED Platinum = 80% density bonus

    Density Bonus

    Affordable Housing & Green Building

    For an affordable housing project, an additional 10% may be added to the affordable housing density bonus for each level of NC Healthy Built or the corresponding LEED Certification achieved.

    Green Building & Affordable Housing

    For a green building project, an additional matching percentage of bonus may be added for the percentage of affordable units included in the project.

    Density Bonus

    • Other Development Incentives – flexibility for:

    • Lot width

    • Lot size

    • Setbacks

    • Parking requirements

    • Open space requirements

    • Building height

    • Waivers from public hearing process


    • Five Separate Incentives

    • Can be used individually or in combination with each other

    • All support sustainable initiatives and goals

    • All have a direct economic impact


    City of Asheville’s Website



    Jeff Staudinger

    Community Development

    (828) 259-5723

    [email protected]

    Robert Griffin

    Building Safety & Development Services

    (828) 259-5726

    [email protected]

    Shannon Tuch

    Planning & Development

    (828) 259-5817

    [email protected]