Civic morality 101

Developer Frank Howington and his E. F. Howington Company have once again circumvented the wishes of the residents of the Kenilworth section of Asheville and the spirit of the initial City Council vote.

Howington hired the Van Winkle law firm, which employs Council member Esther Manheimer. [She] had to recuse herself, thereby changing the votes needed to approve [or block] his Kenilworth development [see “Checks and Balances, May 17 Xpress].

This developer [seems to] believe he [has] the right to impose his development on a community that has categorically and demonstratively expressed its opposition: Community be damned — overcrowded streets, slope erosion, parking issues be damned.

I don't know who to be more angry with, Mr. Howington … or City Council for their lack of political will and courage in dealing with developers, allowing yet another developer’s avarice to overcome common sense and community wishes.

Just because you have the legal right does not always mean you have the moral right. The caretakers, in this instance City Council, are really not city planners, so it’s understandable that they view development and developers as their economic modality. But if Asheville is to retain its character and livability, development must be kept in check and our economy can't revolve around “build it and they will come.”

Instead, how about quality of life, sustainability and economic viability built on the common good and community values? Too much? Yeah, I know — wishful thinking.

— Jesse Junior
Arden

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6 thoughts on “Civic morality 101

  1. “This developer [seems to] believe he [has] the right to impose his development on a community”

    He does. Thanks, Jesse.

    And, Jesse, just how would YOU “keep development in check”? Let us into your thinking on this.
    ……………………

  2. Dionysis

    When Ayn Rand’s self-centered Utopia is finally ushered in to replace the faux capitalism Mr. Peck so disdains, I am going to move right next door to him and build a tire-burning plant.

    That wouldn’t be a problem now, would it?

  3. Dionysis

    “I’ll lease out the property across the street from both of you to a pig farmer.”

    Well you must be someone of real clout, given you don’t even live in this state, much less the area. But maybe your vast holdings include lots of prime Asheville property.

  4. [b]And, Jesse, just how would YOU “keep development in check”? Let us into your thinking on this.[/b]

    If you believe in the unchecked power of the individual over the community, then surely you would not be opposed to an individual working to undermine and ruin the development as it was being built?

    Oh, that’s right. Only *certain* individuals matter in the cotton candy and unicorn fairy tales you subscribe to.

    Certain men always get their way, right?

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