Crab Creek neighbors rally before critical public hearing on July 28

Press release from Crab Creek Preservation Society:

On Wednesday, July 28 at 3:00 PM, just before a critical public hearing, neighbors from the Crab Creek community west of Hendersonville will unite in a colorful display of opposition to a 125,000 square foot storage facility — as large as a big-box retail store — that a developer wants to build in the heart of their rural community.

“This is our moment of truth,” says event organizer Rocio Borghini.  “If the county allows this mega-monstrosity to be built in Crab Creek, the damage would be impossible to reverse.  It would open the door to more strip commercial development, driving away farms, driving away local people, and destroying the beauty that brought many of us to Crab Creek.”

On Wednesday, storage facility opponents will gather outside the Thomas Auditorium at Blue Ridge Community College, one hour before Henderson County’s Zoning Board of Adjustment meets in the auditorium at 4:00 PM to consider allowing construction of the facility.

Crab Creek residents have raised funds to hire an attorney and expert witnesses to plead their case.  The storage facility, these experts say, will jeopardize traffic safety and pollute a nearby stream.  It will also decrease property values around Crab Creek Road, which now serves as an attractive rural gateway to DuPont Forest and other popular outdoor recreation spots.

According to David Gillette, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at UNC Asheville, “Stopping overdevelopment and preserving open spaces increases property values.  Nationally, buyers pay more to live near large, undeveloped green spaces.  Zoning that favors overdevelopment, though, can have strong negative effects on what buyers are willing to pay.”

Not only is Wednesday’s rally an opportunity to express opposition to the proposed storage facility; it’s also an opportunity to unite behind more rational planning for growth and development in the future, county-wide.  “Crab Creek needs new protections, including new zoning, so that something like this will never happen again,” says Rocio Borghini.

Here’s complete information about the rally and the hearing.  Note also, on Thursday, July 29, the Crab Creek community will host an “Ask the Experts” event with two national authorities in rural preservation.  Anyone interested in a greener future for Henderson County is welcome.

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