Times-News: Henderson County planning board OKs 245-acre conservation subdivision near Locust Grove Road

From the Times-News:

A 245-acre subdivision on a wooded mountainside in northern Henderson County is moving forward following a unanimous vote by the planning board Dec. 16, meeting the county’s requirements for conservation subdivisions

Ripple Falls LLC submitted the master plan for the project as a whole, and the first phase of 22 single-family lots on 83 acres near Locust Grove Road. Total, the proposal calls for 60 lots on more than 245 acres. 

The project follows the county’s conservation subdivision standards, said Planning Director Autumn Radcliff, which requires developers to permanently set aside open space or agricultural lands to receive density bonuses. 

In this case, developers have set aside just under 80 acres as open space, but did not take advantage of the density bonuses, she said. 

Developers could, by right, have sought much more density but did not, Radcliff said. According to the county’s standards, a conservation subdivision could seek a 20% increase in homes for preserving sensitive environmental areas to protect farmland or natural resources. . .

According to the Henderson County Comprehensive Plan, conservation area is “land areas that are intended to remain largely in their natural state, with only limited development. Such areas should be targeted through protection through regulations and incentives.”

Rural agricultural area covers portions of the county predominantly rural, with low-density residential development and substantial land devoted to agriculture and undeveloped land, according to the Comprehensive Plan, which says “land use policies will seek to retain that character,” according to the board’s agenda.

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