The Merrimon village was bad news for neighbors

Five Points Neighborhood would have loved to have an urban village built on the former Deal Buick site, and we tried to work with the developers to come up with a plan that wouldn't impose excessive costs on the neighbors [“Ruffled Feathers,” Aug. 7 Xpress]. But the 2007 proposal had two main problems, both of which ran counter to the directions of the development laws.

The urban village code directs that tall buildings be located centrally within [the development] to avoid impacts on neighbors, but the Horizon's “twin towers” ran almost the full length of the lot on the back half, close to [residents], and would have presented neighbors on Eloise Street with a building rising about 150 feet above street level, set back only about 50 feet from the road, permanently blocking midday winter sun. …

The urban village code directs that loading-dock access should come from roads interior to the development, but the Horizon's plan called a loading dock on Eloise, directly across from a residential neighbor, which would have led to a constant stream of trucks on this residential street.

These are the two main reasons we filed a protest petition. Holly Shriner called the plans “phenomenally beautiful,” but I'm quite sure that she would protest if someone tried to build a 150-foot-tall tower and a loading dock across the street from her home.

If the developers had been willing to change their plans to be better neighbors, we would have gladly welcomed an urban village on that site.

— Benjamin Gillum, former president
Five Points Neighborhood Association
Asheville

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