Last night, the Buncombe County Commissioners approved upzoning one parcel from R-3 (Residential) to Commercial, but denied a request to upzone another from R-1 to R-3.

  • Parcel 1 was owned by the powerful and connected Biltmore Farms. Parcel 2 was owned by some relative unknown.
  • Parcel 1 and Parcel 2, as Commissioner Joe Belcher observed, were located along the bank of the same river.
  • Parcel 1 was in the Blue Ridge Parkway Overlay district. Parcel 2 was not.
  • The owner of Parcel 2 said he wanted to add three mobile units to his existing lot of vacation rentals. The owner of Parcel 1 did not divulge what was up its sleeve.

Brownie Newman was the only commissioner to vote against the more intensive upzone. Belcher, Mike Fryar, and David King voted against a motion to deny the trailer park dude his right to, as Fryar explained, “put three things on his property [with] his money.”