Letter: The trouble with single-use developments

Graphic by Lori Deaton

[Regarding “Pinned Down? Pinners Cove Residents Blast Process for Proposed Development,” Nov. 9, Xpress:] Each week, I read about another development in the Asheville region, almost always housing only, or retail only, or hotel only. In every case, there is opposition to proposed projects, often vehement and well organized. Pinners Cove is the latest example.

The opposition is understandable. Why? For centuries prior to World War II, the development of our hamlets, villages, towns and cities happened organically in the form of walkable, complete neighborhoods. A variety of housing types, adequate shopping, numerous workplaces, facilities for education, worship, recreation and civic life. A grid of small streets and alleys. A variety of densities, by street. Mobility options. Many of these great places were built before the automobile, but they accommodate motor vehicles elegantly today. They are affordable and diverse by design.

After World War II, we have built our cities as subdivisions, shopping centers, office parks and similar, all separated from one another, requiring motor vehicles to perform simple daily tasks. It’s not working.

All the proposed projects being opposed are single-use projects with one mobility option — driving. If developers were smart, they would be proposing walkable, complete neighborhoods that also accommodate motor vehicles. They might still get opposition from unreasonable people, but the developers would be standing on more solid and defensible ground, philosophically.

If citizens were smart, they would ask their elected officials to require this type of development in order for projects to be approved.

— Rob Dickson


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2 thoughts on “Letter: The trouble with single-use developments

  1. Enlightened Enigma

    what a lame brained ‘analysis’ of housing….pinners cove is out in the county…not remotely useable for other uses…duh.

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