Press release from the Lake Louise Preservation Association:
Monday night a local group — the Lake Louise Preservation Association (LLPA) — won an unusual victory. They achieved a last-minute stop to a high-density development being built on the shores of small Lake Louise in Weaverville, immediately opposite the lake’s historic park, at the corner of Quarry Road and Lakeshore.
The LLPA’s objections to the project were guided by their attorney, Bill Brazil, of the firm of Brazil & Burke, PA, of Asheville. In addition, detailed expert testimony on deficiencies with the project’s application were contributed by Blake Esselstyn, an Asheville certified urban planner, and his associates.
The application for the proposed project had been presented to Weaverville’s Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) by a local developer, Craig Phillips of Mayfair Associates. The Weaverville ZBA Board members demonstrated a continued willingness to apply conscientious attention to potential deficits in the project application, which scrutiny resulted in the project, as applied for, being denied by the Board.
According to LLPA reports, no wealthy person or organization backed their organization. A core group of about twenty persons, many of them retirees, were supported by the efforts of about one hundred diverse community members and two thousand petitioners from Weaverville and its surrounds. They achieved this stoppage by working hard within a five month period.
The members raised money to cover legal costs by holding an auction, yard sales, online fund-raising, and soliciting contributions from individuals and local businesses. Although they had been advised by their attorney that stopping the project at the Zoning Board of Adjustment level was very unlikely, members and their Board decided not to be fatalistic, and to proceed raising legal objections to the project.
The LLPA now suggests researching how favored candidates stand on local and state zoning issues before voting. They believe that growth, even high-density development, is inevitable in the greater Asheville area, but believe it can be done mindfully and in harmony with the landscape. So they pass on their recent experience and wish for a well-designed future for everyone.
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