As many Ashevilleans as possible need to know about the important zoning and development discussions happening soon on City Council, all of which will directly affect us.
Soon the Council will pass votes on land use and development to prepare for Asheville’s predicted future growth, and it is imperative that residents and neighborhoods are taking action to make their voices and experiences heard.
Although City Council members have different zoning priorities, the first priority for each of them absolutely needs to be community input and participation. Thankfully, the city’s comprehensive Living Asheville plan includes neighborhood plans proposed by their residents, but after seeing the four proposed sites for the development of “urban centers,” I worry what will happen if residents of these areas do not have a place at the planning table.
Citizens must play a role in city planning, especially with the rate that Asheville is growing. Our needs are just as important as the needs of the people who will be moving here. Especially the needs of longtime residents and neighborhoods that have been the repeated victims of gentrification, marginalization and oppression.
I just hope we are heard.
— Abby Shuler