Letter: Buncombe needs both affordable housing and open space

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I am an experienced city and county planner and now a civic activist in accord with the principles of community planning. I have served on the city Greenway Committee and Multimodal Transportation Commission and am currently active with Connect Buncombe. I am experienced in both affordable housing and open space, including greenways and trails. I would like to speak up in favor of the proposed general obligation bonds for affordable housing and open space, two very important needs of the people of Buncombe County. I see a strong relationship between affordable housing and open space because families who live in affordable housing need nearby and carefully designed open spaces.

I appreciate the work of the county in preparing for this combined initiative. I also appreciate the professional contribution of the Trust for Public Land in helping advance this cause for our people. I am a member of the Better With Bonds | Buncombe Votes Yes committee helping support the bonds. The bonds are the proven method of supporting long-term capital improvement projects.

I believe that greenways, trails and open space — including future voluntary easements and land acquisition carefully fitted to cities, towns, countrysides, historic waterways and beautiful mountain valleys — fulfill many human needs, whether for transportation, health, the pursuit of happiness, heritage, inclusive social equity, environmental betterment, economic development or family recreation and fun.

My vision of open space includes Buncombe County unified by a connected system of multiuse greenways and trails throughout our scenic mountains and vibrant towns. We are a culturally rich community that values health, recreation and quality of life. These pedestrian, bicycle and often transit corridors encourage people to discover our area’s beauty and local businesses to prosper from connections made along the Buncombe greenway system.

I see outstanding benefits in the area of the social determinants of public health. I daily walk our greenways and trails and experience the incredible casual friendliness of my fellow walkers and cyclists. We should be true to our mountain heritage way of life. I think we should preserve our natural stream and river corridors, which otherwise would become haphazard sprawl. Please support these valuable bonds.

— David G. Nutter


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