Commercial traffic on Maxwell Street is the central issue in the ongoing story of Asheville’s Greenlife Grocery and its building permits, wrongly grandfathered uses, missing green buffer and other variations from compliance with Asheville’s development ordinance identified by N.C. School of Government Prof. David Owen. (For background, see the Xpress articles “The (Non)enforcers: Asheville Zoning at the Crossroads” and “Council Squeezes UDO, Civic Center and Immigration into One Hefty Session.”
Among several problems that have arisen as a result of large delivery trucks using Maxwell, a residential street, for maneuvering, the sidewalk opposite Greenlife was fragmented and the pavement forced into a resulting muddy depression (see photo). The city of Asheville indicated that the damage to city infrastructure would be repaired and billed to Greenlife.
As reported in Xpress, “In an Oct. 4 e-mail, former city Traffic Engineer Anthony Butzek explained: ‘Trucks routinely damage the curb and sidewalk at the bend of Maxwell Street. Greenlife has committed to repairing this.’” The sidewalk was repaired in October 2006.
After months of repeated requests for the repair-cost information, Reid Thompson, owner of adjacent properties and a major Greenlife critic, finally obtained a copy of the repair order and costs. Xpress also obtained a copy, which indicates that the repairs cost approximately $900.
However, John Swann, co-owner of Greenlife, told Xpress via e-mail on March 30 that “to my knowlege, we were never billed by the City for the cost of the sidewalk replacement, and consequently have not paid for it.”
— Cecil Bothwell, staff writer