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Plan for vacation cottages at Horse Shoe Farm advances

The Henderson County Planning Board on Thursday endorsed a rezoning to allow 36 vacation rental cottages, a dining facility, clubhouse, spa and yoga studio, equestrian center and riding ring, event space, horse trailer parking and arts and crafts space on the Horse Shoe Farm property.


John Turchin, a developer who has proposed several housing and vacation rental plans in Horse Shoe and Etowah, is seeking to rezone 80 acres from R-2 residential to a conditional zoning district that would allow the cottages and vacation amenities on the rolling land on the French Broad River. The plan is a dramatically scaled back version of developments Turchin has proposed in the past. He sought approval for 198 units on the proeprty in 2017. In January 2018, the county OK'd a conditional use zone allowing 132 units.

But instead of building, Turchin and his son have been renting the existing homes to vacationers and whittling down the scale of the vacation rental development.

"What happened along the way, my son, Gordon, moved to this property and took over running the place and living here," Turchin said. "He said, 'Dad, don't develop this property, we can make it successful and a viable business here without developing it.' I listened to him and basically turned the property over to him. Rather than develop it to its maximum potential, we're basically doing it for the mininum potential."

Gordon and his family — he and his wife have two children — live on the property.

"It's been such an incredible repsonse," he said. Renters have traveled from far away and some have been local people. "It's just been magical."

The board voted 6-1 to recommend approval of the development, with board member Bruce Hatfield voting no.



The county approved 132 units in January 2018, revissed in eburary of 198 units. its residential purposes. due to the large size of the tract alows you to put any conditions on.

Over the past three years Turchin has sought zoning approval for a 299 homes on a cow pasture on McKinney Road in Etowah, 220 homes at the Horse Shoe Farm property and then later a scaled back plan for 132 homes on the farm on South Rugby Road. The Planning Board approved the request for 132 units but then Turchin and his son began operating the farm and a large barn as an event venue.

The latest plan scales back the number of dwellings even more. A site plan engineers submitted shows 36 residential lots, a 3,000-square-foot dining facility, 2,720-square-foot clubouse, 6,000-square-foot event center, 8,670-square-foot horse barn with five guest rooms, a 2,580-square-foot arts and crafts building and a pool. Turchin plans to connect to city of Hendersonville water, which serves the South Rugby area, and individual septic tanks for the homes and other facilities.

A neighborhood compatibility meeting will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, via Zoom.

A working cattle farm when it was founded in the 1950s, the property became home to a herd of Belted Galloway cattle and a later owner’s collection of vintage Corvettes and motorcycles. Turchin bought the 84-acre property and six dwellings for $2.2 million in December 2017, land records show.