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Council waives fee for affordable housing project

The Hendersonville City Council voted unanimously on Thursday to waive $175,000 worth of utility impact fees for a proposed affordable housing project on Pisgah Drive just west of Laurel Park. The gesture will be academic if, as one council member predicted, the Board of Commissioners rejects a rezoning.

"I'm for this," Mayor Pro Tem Ron Stephens said. "I'm told unless votes change at the last minute that the county commissioners probably won't approve this."
The Housing Assistance Corp. is seeking a rezoning from residential zoning allowing two dwellings per acre to office-institutional, which would allow the 64-unit Rosebay complex on 5.6 acres. Neighboring property owners have opposed the project; the housing agency and other advocates of lower-cost housing for working families plan to argue for the rezoning at a May 12 meeting of the Board of Commissioners.

The rezoning request had the unanimous approval of a Technical Review Committee made up of planners, county engineers, the DOT and environmental regulators. But after a hearing in which neighbors strongly rejected the land-use change, the county Planning Board voted unanimously to recommend denial of the rezoning.
The City Council's policy allows for the waiver of water and sewer impact fees for public housing for low-income families and the elderly. The system development charges for the 64 units would come to $92,520 for water and $81,920 for sewer service, Utilities Director Lee Smith said.