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Developer proposes 198-unit project at Horse Shoe Farm

A developer who failed to win a permit for a 225 rental cottages and apartments at Horse Shoe Farm is taking another swing at a large development on the picturesque property.

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John Turchin, a third generation developer from Miami, filed a master plan for a development of 198 units of adult senior housing on the 85-acre farm along the French Broad River. The development would include 58 duplexes, 27 triplexes and one 5-bedroom unit over an existing barn, for an average density of 2.3 units per acre. Project planners also said the development would include two parking spaces per unit, 96 spaces for commercial amenities, an onsite members only dining facilities, clubhouse and wellness center. The biggest difference from a land-use perspective is that this plan does not require a rezoning by the Board of Commissioners.

The county Technical Review Committee, which evaluates projects based on compliance with the county land-use plan, water and sewer availability and traffic impact, recommended approval of the project on Tuesday, though it raised questions about emergency access to the development and deferred sewer approval to state regulators. The Planning Board will review the project for adherence to zoning rules, traffic and utilities, said John Mitchell, Henderson County's director of business and community development.
The development, which keeps the same name of the Sanctuary at Eagle’s Nest, would preserve 59 acres of open space — 69 percent of the total acreage. Seventeen acres, or 20 percent of the total land, would be covered by pavement, buildings or other impervious surface.
The project would be served by water from the city of Hendersonville and would have an onsite sewer system. County planners said the county approval of that system would hinge on the state’s OK.
A traffic impact study by J.M. Teague Engineering and Planning projected that the development would generate 1,089 trips per day, less traffic overall than the original proposal.

A revised traffic plan eliminates an emergency entrance for fire trucks from Nelson Road and keeps a main entrance and secondary entrance into the subdivision from South Rugby Road. Those will be built to accommodate emergency vehicles, the project's traffic engineers said. The Technical Review Committee did raise questions about eliminating the emergency access connection from Nelson Road on the western edge of the subdivision.

"The main site access point is anticipated to see a reduction in overall traffic volumes since anticipated traffic will now be able to fully utilize two access points to the development," traffic engineer Wesley Stokes, of J.M. Teague Engineering & Planning, said in a letter to NCDOT District Engineer Steve Cannon. The NCDOT had approved the project's traffic plan on the condition that the developer add a left turn lane at the main entrance.

The new plan is a more conventional project than Turchin’s original proposal that promised a community of rental homes crisscrossed with walking trails and featuring vegetable gardens and other healthy lifestyle amenities. He called the proposed project a “lifestyle destination community” made up of 700- to 1,200-square-foot cottages, three miles of walking trails, a farm-to-table restaurant, fitness center and lap pool. Agreeing with a crowd that packed the assembly room, commissioners on Dec. 5 unanimously rejected Turchin’s rezoning request for the project. A few weeks earlier Planning Board members had unanimously recommended county approval of the project, saying that the developer could by right (without zoning approval) build higher density housing on the land.