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THE BIG BOOM: 464 homes approved in Fletcher

Sitting between Hendersonville and Asheville, Fletcher draws both young families looking for a nice place to live and people attracted to the town because of its natural beauty.

“There’s a lot of activity in town. It’s an indication of the desirability of this area,” Fletcher Town Manager Mark Biberdorf says.
The town’s proximity to Interstate 26, the Asheville Regional Airport and freight railways, its natural environment and its good infrastructure have driven both residential and jobs-related growth, he said.
Some people are also moving from nearby Asheville to Fletcher in search of better housing prices.
As dynamic as the housing market is today, Biberdorf said, the growth now happening in everything from housing and industry to tourism is not as extensive as what Fletcher saw 20-30 years ago.
“The explosive growth occurred back in the 1990s to early 2000s,” he says. “That’s when we had some really rapid growth here.”
Development in Fletcher is more limited because the town has fewer large tracts of land available for construction as it did years ago. Still, single-family homes are in the future if those approved by the town get built. The town has approved 424 homes in three subdivisions — two on Rutledge Road and one on Cane Creek Road.
Much of the development in the last five years came in the form of multi-family townhomes and apartments, Biberdorf says.
The Groves at Town Center apartment complex built in 2019 contains 163 units near the town’s park. Another 193-unit development was also built in town in recent years. Other single-family and multi-family developments have also been approved in recent years on Rutledge Road and Cane Creek Road in town and, although its outside the town limits, the Tap Root dairy development is approved for 699 dwellings.

So far, growth in Fletcher has not led to the need to increase staff. But Biberdorf says the need for more manpower isn’t far off.

Trash collection in Fletcher is handled during four days each week. But the town might need to increase to five days to respond to the growing need for trash pick-up in town.
Fletcher is also looking at possibly needing to add staff in its code enforcement office and it might need to increase the number of officers on its police force. The police department has had the same number of officers for a “long time,” Biberdorf says.
Fletcher is also “keeping up” with the 23 miles of roads it maintains in town.
Most roadways are maintained by the North Carolina’s Department of Transportation. Fletcher handles road maintenance mostly in neighborhoods with the aid of Powell funding from the state. On streets it owns, Fletcher is responsible for repaving, snow plowing and storm cleanup.
“At this point, we are still able to keep up as far as maintaining at a high level,” Biberdorf says.
The town is also not hurting for water or sewer services to meet both housing and business growth. The town receives sewer service from the Metropolitan Sewer District in Buncombe County and water service from Hendersonville.
Hendersonville recently installed a new water main in the town.
“Availability is strong,” Biberdorf says.
Residential development typically doesn’t pay for itself, Biberdorf says, and over the long term it can put a stress on property taxes. In addition to property taxes, Fletcher also receives revenue from sales taxes to fund the town.
“That is something everybody is paying,” he said.
People who live in Fletcher tend to be younger than the population in other parts of Henderson County. Although it’s difficult to know for sure, Biberdorf says the younger demographic in Fletcher might stem in part from a shift in workers going to permanent online jobs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Who wouldn’t want to live here if you don’t physically have to be in Detroit or some other place that’s too cold,” he says.