Letter: Charlotte Street neighbors could learn from Charlotte

Graphic by Lori Deaton

There is something about the Charlotte Street development issue/dialogue that is troubling to me, and it has to do with the signs the neighborhood is using to promote their cause.

The “Charlotte St. Not Charlotte” signs are offensive and represent the kind of close-minded, self-righteous thinking and speech that turn people off to otherwise worthy causes. There are many thriving new businesses and neighborhoods being activated all across Charlotte, especially in the urban infill zones around downtown, like Midtown, NoDa and South Boulevard areas. Charlotte even has light rail, for crying out loud.

You will also find many examples of more attractive architecture for new developments in Charlotte than the kind of buildings going up in Asheville. To the witty sign makers in the Charlotte Street community: Open your eyes and learn to work with others in a constructive way. You might learn a thing or two from Charlotte.

— Frank Balentine


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8 thoughts on “Letter: Charlotte Street neighbors could learn from Charlotte

  1. Mike R.

    I thought the signs did a pretty good job of summarizing the situation. Reasonable people didn’t want massive (Charlotte style) apartment complexes plopped in the middle of an existing neighborhood of smaller structures and narrow streets. And no light rail, I might add.

    As far as the signs being offensive; well I would guess that most found them less offensive than the project proposed.

    • KW

      Agreed. And if the author is so in love with Charlotte, perhaps they should move. Those of us who love Charlotte Street likely won’t miss that person and their attitude.

  2. North Asheville

    Mr. Balentine’s thoughtful letter is appreciated. His comments are helpful.

  3. Whistler

    In an era when it’s both easy to cause offense and be offended, I found the message to be clever and funny. It’s a matter of historic record that much—not all—of pre-1950 Charlotte is lost to new construction. The point is that we can choose to preserve and protect that which is authentic to our own local history, and guide new development alongside it.

    • Frank

      Thanks Whistler. From what I understand S Charlotte St was a very different neighborhood in the 50’s as well.

    • Frank

      Thanks Whistler. From what I understand much but not all of pre-1950 S Charlotte St neighborhoods were lost too.

  4. rwd

    We are NOT Charlotte…it is my opinion only, but I’d bet most of the Asheville citizens do not want to mimic what Charlotte does !!! It’s a nice place to visit and has lovely modern buildings and architecture…IT IS NOT ASHEVILLE !!!

  5. Mike R.

    For anyone willing to look forward just 20 -30 years, the Charlotte’s and Atlanta’s and ….. are going to be relegated to the dust heap of history. These places will be unsustainable for living when the world starts to run seriously short of affordable oil and natural gas. Smallish cities, small towns and family farms are where we’re headed; whether we like it or not. And no, we’re not going to run these cities off of renewables. Just not going to work.

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