Thank you, David Forbes, for the well-written account of the repeated run-off violations from Beverly-Grant’s strip-mall development on Merrimon Avenue (“Muddy Waters,” Jan. 29, Xpress ). As much as I respect Shannon Tuch, director of Asheville’s development services, I must strongly disagree with her statement that Beverly-Grant is “really trying” [to keep its pollution on-site].
If a company’s actions cause pollution once yet they quickly fix it and make sure it doesn’t happen again, that’s really trying. However, we’ve documented pollution running straight into Reed Creek from this site periodically for more than two years.
Government exists to protect the public good and ensure an equal playing field. Asheville has a long history of failing to fully enforce our development laws and a culture of soft-pedaling the damage done by violators. I hope that is changing. I’m glad the city responded to the latest violation with a fine, but the fine is too low to serve as a deterrent. However, as the article states, the Statehouse controls the fine structure.
And the current Republican supermajority serves at the pleasure of polluters. They are gutting what little legal power localities have had to safeguard the public good. If you care as much as I do about clean water, clean air and responsible development, then I urge you to do every thing in your power to elect Democrats to office in November.
— Heather Rayburn