Three years ago, the Buncombe County commissioners provided a $27 million tax incentive package to recruit a $20 billion company (Pratt & Whitney) to a tract of land owned by Biltmore Farms. This was during a pandemic when our residents were losing their jobs, businesses, even their lives.
Now, during an affordable housing crisis, Biltmore Farms requested that adjoining property, zoned for residential and commercial services use, be rezoned for employment, presumably so more aerospace/tech industries can locate there? We cannot be sure.
As with the Pratt & Whitney plant, they are keeping the land’s use under wraps. Let’s hope they tell the public what it will be used for, especially if again, millions of our tax dollars are used to help recruit members of this same industry. And let’s hope that these businesses will pay their employees a living wage so they can afford to live where they work.
The Board of Commissioners’ actions raise the question: Is this how they are going to deal with the affordable housing crisis? Let’s hope not. However, it seems hope is all the county commissioners will give the working people who cannot afford to live here. #NoMoreSecretDeals
— Cynthia Heil