Letter: Vote for bonds to leave legacy of land

Graphic by Lori Deaton

An important choice is coming in November. From Sandy Mush to Fairview, Black Mountain to Upper Hominy and everywhere in between, we’ve seen tangible, positive results from various Buncombe County-led initiatives intended to maintain and improve life quality essentials for residents and visitors alike.

Clean water, healthy air and unspoiled views should not be taken for granted. Properly managed development can be entirely compatible with population and economic growth, incentivizing progress without despoiling the world around us. While Buncombe County is increasingly viewed as a national leader in land conservation, this is no time to rest on laurels. Tourists will continue to visit, and companies will choose to relocate and expand their businesses here only so long as we are able to maintain the unique attraction of Western North Carolina.

On Nov. 8, Buncombe voters will consider a $30 million bond to support the goal of protecting an additional 6,000 acres by 2030, through various permanent conservation easements, with a target of preserving 20% (including national forests) of land in the county. Buffering against the congestion of homogenized urban sprawl is essential for our rapidly growing community and an economy reliant upon natural beauty.

Bond approval would create additional areas for public enjoyment, to include expansion of recreational trails and greenways across the county, ensuring healthy outdoor opportunities for both current and future generations. Longer term, such spaces could soften the impact of potential natural disasters — storms, floods, wildfires, mudslides and shrinking reservoirs — which in other places have been accelerated by a lack of foresight in land practices.

For the equivalent expenditure of about $20 per family per year, we can leave a land legacy of which our children and grandchildren will be both thankful and proud. For an annual cost of less than one forgotten trip through a nondescript fast-food drive-thru and for the sake of a better tomorrow, please seriously consider becoming a stakeholder in where we live and vote “Yes” in favor of this bond referendum.

— D. Everett
Big Sandy Mush


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6 thoughts on “Letter: Vote for bonds to leave legacy of land

  1. Soothsayer

    After the recent and greatly expensive property tax increases and forthcoming utility increases by the City and MSD I will be voting no on any mechanism that will potentially raise my tax burden. The City recently granted a developer $1.5M loan at 3% with no payments due for 30 years. It is way passed time for citizens and not developers or friends of the Council Members to get a break.

    • JS

      To be clear, these bonds are for county financed initiatives and have nothing to do with the City. Together, the bonds would cost the typical Buncombe taxpayer a maximum of $32 per year. Plenty of info on the county website. As for any candidate or ballot measure, do your homework before voting.

    • kw

      What do you expect when the current Mayor and some council members (Sandra Kilgore, for one) take campaign donations from developers?

  2. Curious

    Is it the case that the affordable housing bond funds will go to developers, to create rental properties, rather than to low-income residents who want to buy/own affordable housing? Increasing affordable home ownership, and building equity and generational wealth, seems preferable to subsidizing rentals.

    • kw

      Yes, way too many ways for developers to (continue to) game the system. Plus, I’d like to know which vacant parcels will be used for affordable housing before I vote Yes. I damn well don’t want any more forests clearcut before they put housing atop Ingle’s and Steinmart. Grocery stores and bike lanes right outside the door, what more could the masses want?

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