In response to an announcement from Riverlink last week, some Kenilworth residents have questions.
By Valerie Hoh,
I would like to respond to Riverlink’s announcement that the Kenilworth neighborhood is about to get some new open space as a result of a donation of 3.36 acres of land to Riverlink from Caledonia LLC, Frank Howington’s development company.
I respect Riverlink’s work but I have to disagree with their assessment that my neighborhood is gaining new open space. I would respectfully point out that what Kenilworth will be gaining in the next 3 years will be two 50 unit developments where there was open space before.
How does building 100 units on steep 30% to 45% slope fit into “Riverlink’s strategic goals to conserve both steep slopes and riparian areas for better water quality”?
In the race to establish a greenway connection, Riverlink has forgotten that a whole neighborhood’s way of life will be changed not for the better with a greenways connection to the river but with a dangerous addition of hundreds and hundreds of cars on our steep and narrow roads with double blind curves.
Those who have businesses in Biltmore Village should gird up for more floods in the future when 20 or more acres of formerly green slope becomes a concrete jungle with the inevitable storm runoffs and resulting sediment that does not fit into Riverlink’s “Best Management Practices to reduce the amount of erosion and sediment entering the stream” in this case, the Swannanoa River.
Perhaps Riverlink can explain to the Kenilworth neighborhood how their goals and the goals of the developer meet. We are having a hard time understanding how the donation of a small area of land offsets the large scale destruction of a prominent steep slope within our city. A slope, that when compromised, is guaranteed to pollute and destroy any advancements in the preservation of the Swannanoa river.