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Jackson County Planning Department

Subdivision Regulations
Open Space Requirements

The following open space requirements are established by the subdivision and/or
land development regulations of counties in western North Carolina:

Haywood County – none

Henderson County – none required in standard subdivisions. If the conservation


subdivision option is selected, a minimum of 25% of the land area must be set aside
as open space.

Macon County – Awaiting information from County Planner.

Transylvania County – none

Buncombe County – none required in standard subdivisions. Cluster development is


encouraged on property with a slope of more than 25%. If this option is selected,
30% of the site must be maintained as open space. A density bonus is provided for
cluster developments.

City of Asheville – Subdivisions with 8 or more lots must dedicate open space
equivalent to 20% of the total area of the lots. A fee in lieu option is provided.

City of Hendersonville – Subdivisions with 9 or more lots must dedicate open space
equivalent to 10% of the project area.

Suggestions for Revising Jackson County’s


Open Space Requirements

The Subdivision Ordinance requires all major subdivisions (8 or more lots) to reserve
25% of the project area or develop the subdivision as estate lots (minimum of 3
acre lots). For example, an owner of a 20 acre tract who proposes to subdivide the
tract into 8 lots would have to dedicate 5 acres of the property as open space. After
dedicating the open space, 15 acres would remain for the development of lots and
roads.
Thoughts/items to consider:
• Is the current open space requirement adequate and fair?
• Does the current requirement create a challenge for owners of small parcels (20
-30 acres) who wish to subdivide their property?
• Does the current requirement promote the creation of larger (3 acre+) lots? Is
this good?
• Should the open space provisions of the ordinance provide for a fee in lieu
option?
• Should the creation of graduated open space requirement be considered? Such
an approach would establish a different requirement (percentage of the lot area or
square feet per lot) for different size subdivisions. The categories of subdivisions
would be identified if this approach is investigated further.

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• Provisions for maintenance and ownership of the open space must be identified
and enforced.