The Buncombe County Planning Board held a public hearing on June 3 to consider a proposed amendment to county-wide zoning that would permit motor sports facilities in Commercial and Employment Service Districts throughout the county, subject to certain conditions. The county zoning ordinance defines “motor sports facilities” as “any facility, track, or course upon which racing or motor sporting events are conducted including, but not limited to vehicles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, motor scooters, go-carts, etc.”
The zoning amendment was requested by a Swannanoa resident who would like to build an ATV and dirt bike practice track on a parcel of land on U.S. 70 in Swannanoa. Motor sports facilities are currently not permitted in commercially developed areas; however, they are allowed as a conditional use in more rural areas of the county that are zoned “Open Use.” Prior to the hearing, the county planning staff had recommended that the proposed zoning amendment be rejected, noting that 62 percent of the privately-owned land under the county’s jurisdiction is zoned Open Use.
A number of Swannanoa residents spoke at the hearing, both in favor of and against the amendment. To read an Asheville Citizen Times article about the hearing and the public comments, please click here.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the Planning Board took a vote and split 4-4 on the issue. The split vote means that the Planning Board has given a negative recommendation on the amendment to the County Board of Commissioners. The Commissioners will make the final decision on the amendment, perhaps as early as their June 25 meeting. According to an article in this week’s Black Mountain News, several Commissioners have expressed reservations about the proposal, and the effect that motor sports facilities might have on the surrounding communities. To read the Black Mountain News article, please click here.