Letter: Info lacking in North Asheville development plans

Graphic by Lori Deaton

As many of you know, a community group named Citizens for Responsible Land Use successfully challenged a developer who had proposed buying on the ridge adjacent to the Reynolds Mountain development and above Robinhood and Brookwood roads, etc., several years ago. The developer eventually declined to pursue his/her plans to purchase and develop that land, which is in the city of Woodfin [See avl.mx/5fb, “Cornerstone Developer Pulls Out of Elk Mountain Project,” June 27, 2016, Xpress].

The neighborhood (a mix of Woodfin and Asheville city tax base) was concerned about the safety of tying into a narrow, winding street, Robinhood Road, the lack of any slope ordinance by Woodfin city government and the environmental impact of stripping the ridge of vegetation. Stripping that vegetation would surely have created drainage problems for Asheville city and possibly have caused stress on the privately owned Beaver Lake dam.

CRLU members attended a meeting of the Woodfin [Board of Aldermen]. The developer did not attend; there were no studies concerning slope or drainage and proposed drawings of the condominiums. I personally looked into who registered the LLC and found no names connected with the LLC.

[Fall] 2018 seems to be the same scenario. [The owner’s representative] has refused to answer questions except for the fact that the property is for sale at several million dollars for about 60 acres.

No names, nothing but rumored plans, no mentioned concerns for environmental encroachment or drainage. This “estate” is above my property, and I have heard building noise all summer.

I understand that, unfortunately, every square inch of our beloved and beautiful woods, animal habitat and mountains will be developed because developers and sellers want money. I would ask for plan transparency, some preservation of the environment and safety for pre-existing homeowners. So far we know nothing.

Lest you blame affluent North Ashevilleans for whining: Many areas have fought development, but as I remember, developers at least gave those neighborhoods the courtesy of visual plans, traffic studies, vegetation buffers and numbers of offices, condominiums or homes.

— Beth Hill



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