Letter: Save Charlotte Street

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Ms. Laura Berner Hudson’s article is for me a false narrative, a story that you perceive as being true but has little basis in reality [“Future Vision: 101 Charlotte St. Deftly Balances Conflicting Priorities,” May 19, Xpress]. Asheville is a small city and applying mega-urban-growth ideals is not what this city is all about. I suggest that money interests are not quite as altruistic as she may have implied.

For anyone who has watched the overdevelopment in the last few years in Asheville can see, we are already on the edge of an infrastructure disaster that is not prepared for additional development.

I have personally experienced such overdevelopment in Key West, Fla., and Charleston, S.C. Asheville is late coming to the game but seems to be making up for lost time.

Manifest destiny, a highly disputed 19th-century philosophy, supported expansion throughout the Americas as justified and inevitable. The Native Americans and trees did not fare too well. In like manner, the majority of people of Asheville will not benefit from the more-is-better growth. Maybe a referendum vote for Asheville residents would be a possibility.

After 15 years in California, Ms. Berner Hudson’s lack of understanding of invasive development may be akin to the rural plight from stink bugs and emerald green ash borers. She can’t see the forest for the trees. Her background of a career in urban planning suggests a very different sensibility that may be skewed to the wishes of the majority and more influenced to the developers’ view of the world.

Would Dr. Killian, who is deceased, be unhappy if his legacy was Dr. Killian Green Park? Would a 180-unit apartment complex, with 18 supposedly affordable apartments, parking garage, retail and offices be a better way to remember his name?

Ms. Berner Hudson’s last words of her article state, “ensuring that we aren’t preserving the past at the expense of the future.” It seems very clear that her vision of the future is off the mark and that this project is a terrible mistake and an early gambit in the invasive spread into residential neighborhoods.

— Peter Jayne


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2 thoughts on “Letter: Save Charlotte Street

  1. Felix Babbins

    Concur sir! It was so nice to read a letter that more aptly reflects what we’ve all been trying to say. In a previous post, I was clumsily trying to get across your same message. I simply pointed out those of us who were born here and have lived here all our lives have stayed for the most part because we liked it here. Thus why we’re pushing back against what is now obvious overdevelopment. We want to keep the the charming aspects of our city, which may seem almost stupid to some, because if we don’t Asheville won’t be Asheville anymore. I’m pretty sure any native of any much beloved city would feel the same. This may sound mean to some, but it’s obvious our problems with lack of affordable housing stems from the population explosion in the last few yrs. of people moving here in droves that did so without researching housing and what it costs to live here. Now people I consider “outsiders” that live here complain about that, when they knew they were moving to a small city, but expect big city accommodations (lots of housing options). It goes ’round ‘n ’round. I want this. Well I don’t want that and I was here first! I do feel it’s completely unfair to expect the natives of Asheville to just keep our mouths shut and let “outsiders” decide our fate. I too would be for a referendum vote for Asheville residents. Thank you for your letter.

  2. Mike

    There are far more trees now in what is the continental USA than there were 400 years ago! (But I too oppose the building of Pruitt Igoe II on Charlotte St)

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