Letter: Development proposal is all wrong for Charlotte Street

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I understand that a development proposal for north Charlotte Street would take 6.84 acres of land, involve building 183 residential units, 20 three-story row houses and 50,000 square feet of commercial space, in addition to removing 11-13 structures of the Chestnut Hill Historic District and the destruction of historic heritage treasured trees.

The proposed development for north Charlotte Street is completely out of proportion for our neighborhood! It will completely change the character of the neighborhood I have lived in for over 37 years, increase traffic problems and move large, impersonal commercial spaces further into residential neighborhoods. Why 50,000 square feet of commercial space when many, many existing structures stand empty?

City Council is the firewall between the citizens and the developers. It’s the community that will be left to deal with the results of their decisions, while the developers and land sellers pocket the profits.

Rampant and unthoughtful development threatens to ruin our town. Surely, there are ways that the city can guide development that is more in line with the character of our community. It’s very distressing to see Asheville being sold off to people and companies who have no real investment in our community (other than to extract wealth from it) or interest in sustainable, thoughtful development.

I agree with the Preservation Society’s statement: “It becomes very clear that the proposed development on Charlotte Street, Baird Street, Furman Avenue and Chestnut Street does not match the goals of the plan (i.e., Living Asheville). We urge the Planning Department and City Council to encourage the developers to rethink their plans now.”

If you agree that this development is all wrong for the north Charlotte Street area, please let our City Council members know. You can also contact the Preservation Society or www.grow-wise.org for more information.

— Anne Craig


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2 thoughts on “Letter: Development proposal is all wrong for Charlotte Street

  1. Enlightened Enigma

    This will be a fantastic project to improve that whole sad looking area in there! Then next is the Fuddruckers redevelopment! SWEET !

  2. North Asheville

    Reporter Jason Sanford has provided good insight into this proposal on his Ashvegas.com website:

    “A proposal for a mixed-use development at the corner of Charlotte and Chestnut streets just north of downtown Asheville would bring 194 new residential units, 30,000 square feet of office space and 20,000 square feet of retail space to a 6-acre plot that’s part of a local historic district.

    Asheville native Hume Killian is part of the ownership group of the property, which his father, the late Dr. John H. Killian, amassed during his years working as the region’s first retinal surgeons starting in the late 1970s. (His practice was located on the site.) Dr. Killian, who bought several other properties in the Charlotte Street neighborhood, was also a preservationist who won awards for his work to restore the Tennent /Pritchard House and the Von Ruck House there. Hume Killian says the proposed redevelopment plan makes the most economic sense for his family and represents a forward-looking design that fits with the area, as well as his father’s vision of a vibrant neighborhood.

    The project calls for the removal of several old structures on the site, including 13 homes that are part of the larger Chestnut Hill Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. That designation does not come with regulations regarding the renovation or removal of buildings – there are no rules barring that for this district. But the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County says those homes, which date to 1900 or later, should be preserved, and it has rallied residents to speak out against the project.”

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