Here’s the message from Asheville City Council member Cecil Bothwell, sent via his email newsletter:
A new poll released today shows that most Asheville voters do not want to see a hotel on the city-owned property across from the Civic Center.
PARC PAC obtained a phone list of all Asheville voters who cast ballots in at least two of the last three City elections. That’s 8,713 consistently engaged voters: Unaffiliated, Republican & Democrat. We employed an automated phone polling company to conduct the survey. 40 percent favored a public park, 38 percent want to sell the land to the Catholic church and 13 percent favor a hotel on the site (the rest indicated “no opinion.”)
The poll was conducted after the Citizen-Times’ big front page story last Tuesday and McKibbon’s public presentation of its plan. So even after all of the persuasion the developers can muster, the public still opposes a hotel in that location.
A seven story hotel looming over the Basilica came in dead last among those who answered the question.
St. Lawrence Green would put a park where people are: going and coming from the Civic Center, the Church, the Grove Arcade, Pack Memorial Library, the Battery Park, and the Vanderbilt.
The church has said that it would use the property for parking for now and would sell it at a later date for development. … Some people are under the mistaken impression that the church wants the property for greenspace but that is not the case.
I believe it is time to withdraw the defunct deal the City offered McKibbon back in 2008 (they defaulted on their contractual promise to complete the project within 2-3 years). We need to rethink use of this space in line with citizen preferences.
Asheville City Council
Here is the text used in the public opinion poll of Asheville voters, according to Bothwell:
“The first question is about the city-owned land across from the Basilica of St. Lawrence. Some people favor a hotel, others selling the land to the church for their development, and others favor a public park.
If you favor the McKibbon Hotel, please press 1
If you favor selling the land to the Diocese of Charlotte, press 2
If you favor a public park, press 3
If you have no opinion, press 4″