Letter: Vindicated that idiotic kitchen ban lifted

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Gotta say I am gratified, astonished, aggravated, annoyed and vindicated that Asheville City Council has much belatedly arrived at a policy I was fighting for 13 years ago (on Council) — the sensible idea that those property owners legally operating short-term rentals should be allowed to have full kitchens in their units [“Council OKs Ramada Proposal Despite Transparency Concerns,” Dec. 22, Xpress].

The money squandered by the city attempting to enforce the “no kitchen” law with annual and sometimes “surprise” inspections, the fines imposed on the operators who were occasionally caught, the expense imposed on those who complied with the law (reconfiguring kitchen spaces), the anger engendered by those of us who reported noncompliant hosts who were never investigated or penalized — all of that, since 2018, is attributable to my former (and some continuing) Council members who voted for the idiotic ban on kitchen ranges in the first place.

What a totally moronic waste of tax dollars and what an amazing example of bureaucratic stupidity. The city has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars encouraging snitches and paying a commercial firm to comb the web for violators, while, at the same time, failing to shut down operators (even in my neighborhood) in blatant violation of the law.

But, hey, “I told you so” only goes so far. I will be voting against (again) any remaining Council member who voted for the 2018 “Home, Home With No Range” rule in this year’s election.

— Cecil Bothwell


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10 thoughts on “Letter: Vindicated that idiotic kitchen ban lifted

  1. kw

    Cecil, could you please provide the names if/when you deem appropriate? As if we need more reasons to vote those turkeys out and save our town from ruin…

  2. NFB


    Now here’s a single issue voting issue for you. Forget affordable housing, never mind living wage jobs, climate change, gentrification, crumbling infrastructure, schools achievement gaps, and race relations. It’s all about full kitchens for AB&B rentals!

    • indy499

      Bothwell has the largest gap between his view of his talents and the his actual talent of anyone I’ve come across. That said, I do hope he posts his list of who he plans to vote for. Just do the opposite.

      For any of you not around, everybody in Bothwell’s closed circle told him how great he was and how he should do more. When he tried to jump to a bigger pond, he got clobbered in a primary of other Ds.

    • Cecil Bothwell

      My sense is that it’s a long way from “single issue.” Affordable? How about those people who are making a go of it by renting out part of their homes, doing the janitorial stuff and managing the short term rental business? Climate change? Well, outside of big talk, let me know what Council has actually done. (I live in a net-zero photovoltaic home, you?) Gentrification? Um, incoming folks from high dollar places are bidding up housing. Locals who offer short term rentals instead of selling out to the newcomer rich are not the problem. Crumbling infrastructure? Not quite sure how that applies at the local level. Achievement gap? Schools are not a City issue except very peripherally, and the so-called achievement gap is a national phenom. Race relations? Well, we’ll see what the City might do. None of the people who served on Council with me were of much help. I worked for years to make Asheville a sanctuary city and in the end I got 6 other votes supporting the Bill of Rights. Hurray.

      • indy499

        Why don’t you set up a sanctuary yard? We don’t want to be a sanctuary city.

      • MV

        I don’t blame people for short-term rentals (Airbnbs, etc.). As a landlord myself, I see the lure of more money and less commitment to long-term tenants who are often (not always) more trouble than they’re worth. For the record, I own a home that lists on Zillow for $1600/month, and I rent it to a nice young couple for $950, including water and lawn care.

        All that said, I believe you and others in this town should at least acknowledge that removing housing from the local rental market does contribute to the perceived housing crisis…which is only a crisis for those who wish to live in a place they cannot afford…strange there that are not more stories nationally and locally about all the great towns that resemble Asheville of 20-25 years ago where you can still purchase a home for under 200k. Wonder why? Politicians and developers want people to keep coming here so that they can cram more projects down this city’s throat for their own gain. Longtime locals must stand up, say, Enough is enough, and find future leaders who will protect the Quality of Life of those who are here.

  3. Phillip Williams

    Well, at least they got rid of the Vance Monument – surely that will fix everything that is wrong with Asheville……

    • R.G.

      Their removal of the monument is yet another example of all that is wrong. What a wonderful teaching opportunity missed and how much money wasted…

      • Phillip Williams

        Yes – I was trying to be ironic. The only results of removing the monument are: a big empty space where an historically and architecturally significant landmark once stood, the expenditure of public money that could have been better spent, and the city/county spit in the face of one of the city’s greatest early benefactors. I am referring to George W. Pack, who gifted the Square and really, the monument itself to his adopted city.

        Of course, I reckon some folks can now sit around and pat themselves on the back for having “done something” – without actually having done anything except use public money destroy a public monument without the consent of the public.

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