Letter: Development rate isn’t ‘sustainable’

Graphic by Lori Deaton

[In response to “Head for the Hills: Climate Migration Could Bring Influx to WNC,” Aug. 26, Xpress:] I have been a resident here in WNC since 1983. I have never found it an easy place to find jobs with a living wage, but 30 years ago, you could find rentals and properties on the cheap. Not so now.

But worse has been the trend of mid- to high-end development that’s ravaging the countryside. And in more recent years, we have developments like Olivette touting themselves as eco-friendly, with their own exclusive organic gardens, if you can afford their 3/4 of a million dollar-plus homes and over $2,000 annual fees. What’s even more disturbing are people singing its praises.

Taking some 350 acres of forested and/or precious farmland and building 50-100-150-plus homes on it is not sustainable or eco-friendly. Ever. Adding more population, cars and demand on natural resources is only going to bring extreme climate change right here faster. This is greed exploiting natural land or farmland. Nothing less. All the high-end housing draws outsiders and displaces locals. Who hasn’t seen their property values and taxes go up?

The latest trend these developers are using is tag words to appeal to the active environmentalism here: “eco-friendly,” “natural,” “sustainable.” Building large homes is not environmentally friendly ever, let alone dozens of them. Makes me pretty hot under the collar, especially toward those who have sold out to profit from exploiting these mountains.

I have lived in a little old house I bought 30 years ago. In the last year, 15 houses have gone up around me. Fifteen! My country living is swiftly turning into suburbia. We can’t keep cutting trees and losing farmland at this rate. It’s going to come back to bite us. Hard.

And at my age, I sure hate to become another statistic forced to move just so I can still live in some woods.

— Troy Amastar


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7 thoughts on “Letter: Development rate isn’t ‘sustainable’

  1. indy499

    50 million more people will be in the US in the next 25 years. Some are going to be in WNC. It seems like many folks here are opposed to sprawl and to density. Can’t achieve both.

  2. servingsize

    It’s interesting that cost of living goes up relative not to size of population but to race and politics of population. Larger populations near the Mexican border are cheaper, because more Mexicans live there. It’s interesting that a few whites doing yoga can knock the cost of living up so much. It’s not even really that great here. Many of the restaurants could even be called “cultural appropriation”, as they are really run by whites. Notice any ethnic food run by the actual ethnicity/culture behind the food are usually cheaper, like Asheville noodle is actually run by Asians and has larger servings of food at lower cost with more vegetables, but places run by whites tend to be hijacked, more expensive, and smaller serving sizes.

  3. D Moore

    Asheville is generally overrated and overpriced in all ways. Downtown is dirty, covered in graffiti and full of aggressive panhandlers . Roads are poorly maintained. Crime is way up and rates poorly in the state. Who’s running the city, anyone? As long as people pay to live there and tourists pay to visit, keep on jacking up those property taxes. There are so many nicer places to live that cost so much less. It’s terrible to see a once nice city go to hell.

    • indy499

      Few things sadder than someone living in a place and ragging about it. Maybe people who live somewhere else ragging about a place they don’t live in. Not sure which applies, but move along.

      • hollis moore

        Those are not panhandlers, they are misplaced. I came here at 18 to attend WW. I stayed because of a compassionate, funky, alternative,and caring community. I have to say it feels far away now so I can understand the comment above. I have no need for downtown any longer due to the shock of watching tourist walk by homeless kids sleeping on benches. I stay close to those that helped build good healthcare,mental health and addiction services to those in need. I truly believe eventually something will give. Its a bit like overworking an abstract till it looks like mud.
        I believe in Grass Roots Activism. Perhaps we could begin with telling the whole truth. Greed replaced mindfulness is the vibe I get. Perhaps Asheville needs a Consultant from Taos. And that like it or leave it stuff??? I think I heard that from some Dude who is running for President.

    • Enlightened Enigma

      who’s running the city? as always, EVIL EVIL EVIL democrackkks who over promise and under deliver. ALWAYS. WHY are so many
      democrackkk LED cities in America in turmoil ? WHERE is the democrackkk leadership ? Oh yeah, there is NONE. Esther Manheimer should
      be run OUT of this city TODAY !!!

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