Thank you, Mountain Xpress, for Perrin de Jong’s informative commentary on Dec. 8 [“Pavement or Paradise? Asheville’s Future Is Yours to Decide”]. Remember “Big Yellow Taxi” where the refrain goes, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. … Paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” What about the trees? “Put ’em in a tree museum. … charged the people a dollar and a half just to see ’em.”
Is there going to be a sellout by City Council on Feb. 8? Not if the seven of them keep their pledges made to the whole of us and remember their own resolutions.
None of them are going to take anything like the money some other passin’ folks are going make at Asheville humanity’s expense if this amendment passes. And shorten this civilization’s life span.
Perrin revealed the cryptically named “open space amendment,” which will effectively reduce open space requirements in Asheville construction. There are further effects such as reduction of our oxygen and H2O. There is a wonderful and direct relationship among soil health, green plants and us humans (and all mammals). In simplest terms, it’s called life. Let City Council not ignore another relationship — between absorption of carbon from the air and the production of oxygen. It’s also called life. (Oh, I had teachers who called it photosynthesis.)
What part of trees and green space, versus impermeable surfaces where water runoff adds to the waste stream of everyday city life, do we dare ignore further? Replacement of tree cover prevents absorption of water into the soil and hence diminishes the aquifer. More of these hardscapes (buildings, asphalt, et al.) causes rising (yes, still rising) temperatures. Will City Council choose to ignore this, instead reinforcing a battle-Mother-Nature mentality?
There is so much wrong with this reduction in green space that I am in horror that it is even being entertained here in Asheville. Considering City Council’s climate-change resilience pledge, just where does their resolution lie?
There should be a 7-0 vote in City Council in defeating this amendment. So, if you are sad and worried about the future of our air, water and health, then contact your City Council at AshevilleNCCouncil@ashevillenc.gov and let them hear you.
— Lawrence Williamson
Editor’s note: The city announced Jan. 5 that the open space amendment had been pulled from that evening’s Planning and Zoning Commission agenda. No new date was given for the board to consider it before sending it to City Council, though the commission’s next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 2.