Letter: Asheville residents must play role in city planning

Graphic by Lori Deaton

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


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6 thoughts on “Letter: Asheville residents must play role in city planning

  1. James

    I’d suggest you look up the definition of the term city council member. Who do you think they are? Neighbors. Your input happens every election. People like you who insist on treating elected officials like the enemy are the real problem.

  2. Harold

    “I just hope we are heard.”

    Are you five years old?

    When do local “officials” EVER listen to what their constituents want?

    Don’t you realize that when the know-nothing hipster, who dresses like a homeless heroin addict, thinks that beer is something other than swill, doesn’t bathe regularly, thinks smoking marijuana is safer than cigarettes, and along with other manifest transgressions, gets elected, their IQ automatically increases by two hundred points, and they think they know everything, and don’t listen to the people who elected them?

    Don’t you know this? It is common knowledge.

    • James

      OR… know nothing amateurs who get elected suddenly find out the world doesn’t work the way they thought it did and that there are still voters/constituents/residents who still don’t agree with them even though they got elected. Making promises based on nothing is like the adage of wish in one hand shpit in the other and see which fills faster. THAT is the problem with amateurs in public office. They raise false hopes and leave people like you cynically attacking the people willing to put up with the crap it takes to be a local, basically a volunteer, elected official.

      We truly get the government we deserve at times. There is very little difference between Trump and Kim Roney when it comes to playing up the hopes of gullible people listening to the latest well-meaning populist making promises they can’t possibly keep.

      • luther blissett

        “THAT is the problem with amateurs in public office.”

        Once again, let’s remember that there’s one body in Buncombe County with professionals in public office, and it’s the TDA. So what’s your point here? There’s nothing more American than complaining about “professional politicians”, but apparently amateurs are bad too? The council-manager system puts part-time representatives in charge of setting policy and full-time administrators in charge of implementing it. Other forms of local government are available, but that’s the one we have.

        There’s a difference, though, between transparency in planning and all varieties of NIMBYism. By definition, planning for growth means taking into account people who aren’t currently residents.

  3. Enlightened Enigma

    Abby, so who are these repeated victims of gentrification, marginialization, and oppression? and moreso, just WHO are the people keeping them
    oppressed? WHY are they oppressed? They’re not. Stop the false narrative. Remember it is the democrackkk party that needs to keep an underclass and they help to keep the poor oppressed DAILY!

    MGGA! Make Gentrification Great Again!

    residents vs taxpayers ?

  4. North Asheville

    Thank you for calling attention to the city’s comprehensive Living Asheville plan, available at this link: https://www.ashevillenc.gov/department/planning-urban-design/plans/comprehensive-plans/
    Can you provide details on the four proposed sites for the development of “urban centers?” Where are these? What are their characteristics? A link to that section in the planning document?
    You write, “I worry what will happen if residents of these areas do not have a place at the planning table.” How do residents of those areas get “a place at the table?” Who are the residents who represent those areas? Are they appointed? By whom? Self-selected?

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