Steve Arpin has been developing his home as a hub of sustainability, using solar panels, permaculture gardening, compost and innovative building techniques to live in harmony with the patch of land surrounding his suburban West Asheville residence. As a collective house, this urban homestead also provides a space for community. Tonight, Arpin’s home will be featured in a program produced by Aceem Scott for URTV. The channel 20 show will air at 7 p.m. on Friday night, July 6, and 7 p.m. next Thursday, July 12.
Arpin and his fellow homesteaders ran into some problems with the city last fall, when building inspectors discovered that some people were living in outbuildings. They also had to give up their beehive, ducks and goats because of city ordinances. (For the in-depth story, see Our House, That Was Where We Used to Sleep, April 24 Xpress.) The TV program touches on the issues with city regulations, and includes interviews with Council members Carl Mumpower, Brownie Newman and Robin Cape, all of whom have expressed support for Arpin’s household.
But what’s perhaps even more interesting is the success this community household has had in developing a sustainable living space in an urban context, using more do-it-yourself chutzpah than fancy green technology. “People basically are quite shocked that you could live this way in the city — the two just don’t fit together in their minds,” says Arpin.
— Rebecca Bowe, editorial assistant