Kenilworth resident takes issue with greenspace offer from developer

In response to an announcement from Riverlink last week, some Kenilworth residents have questions.
By Valerie Hoh,
Kenilworth resident

I would like to respond to Riverlink’s announcement that the Kenilworth neighborhood is about to get some new open space as a result of a donation of 3.36 acres of land to Riverlink from Caledonia LLC, Frank Howington’s development company.

I respect Riverlink’s work but I have to disagree with their assessment that my neighborhood is gaining new open space. I would respectfully point out that what Kenilworth will be gaining in the next 3 years will be two 50 unit developments where there was open space before.

How does building 100 units on steep 30% to 45% slope fit into “Riverlink’s strategic goals to conserve both steep slopes and riparian areas for better water quality”?

In the race to establish a greenway connection, Riverlink has forgotten that a whole neighborhood’s way of life will be changed not for the better with a greenways connection to the river but with a dangerous addition of hundreds and hundreds of cars on our steep and narrow roads with double blind curves.

Those who have businesses in Biltmore Village should gird up for more floods in the future when 20 or more acres of formerly green slope becomes a concrete jungle with the inevitable storm runoffs and resulting sediment that does not fit into Riverlink’s “Best Management Practices to reduce the amount of erosion and sediment entering the stream” in this case, the Swannanoa River.

Perhaps Riverlink can explain to the Kenilworth neighborhood how their goals and the goals of the developer meet. We are having a hard time understanding how the donation of a small area of land offsets the large scale destruction of a prominent steep slope within our city. A slope, that when compromised, is guaranteed to pollute and destroy any advancements in the preservation of the Swannanoa river.


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0 thoughts on “Kenilworth resident takes issue with greenspace offer from developer

  1. Valerie Hoh

    Hello Kevin, Thank you so much for your comments. In my response, I am just pointing out Riverlink should not condone any developments that don’t meet the very goals and best management practices they have quoted on their announcement.
    As to your idea of Kenilworth buying that land so it would not be developed – I wish we had that kind of money. Most of us spent our whole lives working to save up and buy our dream house. Our property rights should be as important as the property rights of that developer. If you would like to understand our issues more, I would be happy to talk with you personally.

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