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Crossroads development on Bear Creek Road gets board approval

Crossroads development on Bear Creek Road gets board approval
The Buncombe County Board of Adjustment approved a scaled-down version of the controversial Crossroads project at 20 South Bear Creek Road. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

A development that has been in the works for several years passed one hurdle Wednesday.

A scaled-down version of the controversial Crossroads project at 20 South Bear Creek Road went before the Buncombe County Board of Adjustment to apply for a Conditional-Use Permit. The board unanimously approved the plan on the condition that it include a safe play area for children.

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Developers pulled the project in January because of public opposition.

Crossroads was initially slated to have more than 800 apartments, retail and warehouse space on the 55 acres. The scaled down version calls for 660 apartments, including some for senior living and affordable housing, but no retail or warehouse space.

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A traffic engineer testified on behalf of the developer. But concerned residents said the area is in the wetlands and zoned as pubic services special flood hazard area.

"What if there is a medical emergency in one of the 520 units or the 140-bed senior adult facility during a weather event in a development built on an island in a flood plain with road access likely to be underwater? How will these people be reached?" Buncombe County resident Karen MacNeil said.

"Though I appreciate the changes made since it's last incarnation, the bottom line is it will create catastrophic environmental damages and should be rejected," Asheville resident Callie Warner said.

MacNeil and Warner were just some of many concerned residents who urged the Board of Adjustment to reject the request for a Conditional-Use Permit.

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