Waynesville Planning Board splits recommendations on golf club developments

A map of the Waynesville Inn and Golf Club’s recently renovated course shows two areas, off the 10th and 12th fairways where developers want to build 25 new homes. Raines Company photo A map of the Waynesville Inn and Golf Club’s recently renovated course shows two areas, off the 10th and 12th fairways where developers want to build 25 new homes. Raines Company photo

After deciding that the time is finally right, the owners of the Waynesville Inn and Golf Club are making good on a promise by asking the town for permission to develop 25 custom-built single-family homes on the outskirts of the revitalized course — continuing the rebirth of a storied local landmark — but Waynesville’s planning board has now put half the units in doubt. 

“I know the interest is definitely there amongst our membership, our investors and kind of the whole group of people that are here, that know about Waynesville,” JD Trueblood, WGC’s membership director, told The Smoky Mountain News last August. “Waynesville is a really good market in terms of homes. The demand is way up, the supply is low.” 

Trueblood was correct about demand and supply. As of January, home sales in Haywood County had risen by 24.5% compared to last January according to Canopy MLS; however new listings contracted by 27.2%, leaving just 2.2 months’ supply of inventory across Haywood County.

High demand and anemic supply have conspired to move prices higher in the local market, which has been affected by an affordable housing crisis for some years now. Median sales price ($382,500) and average sales price ($429,126) increased 15.9% and 13.6% respectively, year-over-year.

South Carolina-based Raines Company purchased the 165-acre golf course in April 2021 for $9 million, saying it would spend up to $25 million to redesign the course, rehab the food and beverage offerings and renovate the historic 111-room inn.

They also fostered the development of new four-bedroom standalone rental cottages on the property and alluded to plans to add single-family homes and bungalows along the 10th and 12th fairways.

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On March 18, the Waynesville Planning Board recommended a zoning map amendment and conditional district rezoning for 13 units on 11 acres on Greenview Drive off the 12th fairway by a vote of 6-1, but voted 4-3 not to recommend the same for 12 units on 3.5 acres on Longview Drive off the 10th fairway.

Conditional districts, defined in the town’s land development standards, “provide for orderly and flexible development under the general policies of this ordinance without the constraints of some of the prescribed standards guiding by-right development.”

The existing zoning designation of Country Club Residential-Low Density “is an area predominantly comprised of large lot subdivisions with the Waynesville Country Club serving as its social and recreational center,” reads the planning board staff report. Single-family homes are already permitted outright.

The district allows for up to 12 units per acre with a special use permit, but the development won’t need one because the 12 proposed units fall under the base density of six units per acre.

For the Longview Drive section, developers asked for leniency on the minimum lot size of 0.5 acre. Per the plan submitted by developers, lot sizes will range from 0.13 to 0.27 acres.

Development Services Director Elizabeth Teague said there were concerns, very generally, over pedestrian safety for both sections during the March 18 meeting, but lot size concerns for the Longview section played an important role in discussions.

The recommended Greenview Drive section is within the same zoning district as the Longview Drive section, but at 13 homes on 10 acres, features larger lots ranging from 0.5 to 0.93 acres.

Town staff had agreed in the staff report that the developments would provide context-sensitive infill development in an “already established and attractive neighborhood,” and that the development would add to the range of housing opportunities within the town.

Waynesville’s Town Council will hold two public hearings on Tuesday, March 26, to consider the planning board’s recommendations and decide whether to give the projects final approval. The planning board’s recommendations are just that — recommendations that can be adopted, ignored or modified to Council’s liking.

Be heard

The Waynesville Town Council will hold a pair of public hearings to consider conditional zoning amendments for two areas within the Waynesville Inn and Golf Club. The first, a 3.5-acre area off Longview Drive, would allow for 12 residential units. The second, an 11-acre area off Greenview Drive, would allow for 13 residential units. For more information, contact Waynesville Development Services at 828.356.1172 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Time: 6 p.m.

Date:  Tuesday, March 26

Location:  Town Hall Board Room, 9 South Main Street

UPDATE: After The Smoky Mounain News went to print on March 20, the Town of Waynesville cancelled one of the public hearings, for the Longview Drive parcel.


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