Letter: A village, not a mall, on Charlotte Street

Graphic by Lori Deaton

The Charlotte Street neighborhood is an active, community-minded, blended, diverse, historic and neighborly area. A village, not a commercial mall.

The partners, Killian and RCG, appeal to us as preservationists on the basis of the long-departed Dr. Killian’s work and awards. No. That was his legacy. It will not be theirs. This proposal involves destruction of 13 homes and up side streets of Baird and Chestnut, a bad idea chipping away in the whole city.

The gargantuan design is pretentious in the cottage area. Increased traffic, dangerously absurd. Total disregard for historic treasures, even worse. All 13 homes contribute to the National Register Historic District designation. Now they say the buildings are too run-down. … The bones are good, as those who have improved our homes can attest.

Increased traffic from 183 residential units on a neighborhood street is in direct opposition to the only recently completed, decades coming “road diet” for an already severely traffic-stressed street. The overwhelming majority opinion was: 1.) the safety of pedestrians and 2.) conserve the historic character and design of the area. Will the city ignore this objective?

Mercenary developers called Charleston’s Rainbow Row and New Orleans’ shotgun homes a blight. They are now major attractions with rich economic benefits. They said, “This is how we do it.” Wise city councils came back with, “This is not how we do it here!” And made it official policy. I urge our city: Accept only enlightened developers, such as [those who] designed for the “Pit of Despair.” Do the right thing to protect all in our unique, historic city as you were elected to do.

— Kieta Osteen-Cochrane


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5 thoughts on “Letter: A village, not a mall, on Charlotte Street

  1. KW

    Enlightened developers? Like that team from the Bluffs who called Town of Woodfin folks ‘a bunch of scumbags’ while under oath at the P&Z hearing on 4/5/21 just because they (Woodfin board) were doing their duty and voted to hear more evidence? Woodfin agreed to hear expert testimony related to the health and public safety of locals, but the developer and his attorney keep badgering them not to listen.

    If you can’t find in on YouTube, please visit the FB page of volunteers trying to save Richmond Hill and the French Broad River. Watch from about 1:30-1:37 for most of the drama. While you’re at it, please sign petitions to stop all this nonsense. Enough is enough!


  2. Stop Spamming

    Your spamming of every topic about The Bluffs development is getting old and not winning you support as you might hope.

  3. Mike R.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
    Money talks.
    That is all you need to know.

  4. Alex

    Rich white people put up a huge fuss every time someone wants to build an apartment complex or anything other than a single-family home in Asheville. They always point to traffic and neighborhood character (the same argument used in racist community charters for decades), but it’s just NIMBYism and fear that housing for anyone other than the wealthy is going to ruin their “nice” (read “rich” and “white”) neighborhood. Are developers just out to make a buck? Sure they are – but you never see people fighting this hard against developers building single-family spec homes… I wonder why? We’re never going to have affordable housing in Asheville if we pretend like to type of housing that is affordable is inherently worse than expensive houses.

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