Americans continue to move to our mountains, drawn by our beauty, job opportunities and retirement amenities. Buncombe County is the growth epicenter. Many service providers and even teachers are finding it hard to buy affordable homes. At the same time, we are losing farmland and the rural landscape and way of life we all treasure. Are these problems two sides of the same coin? Can we build affordable housing while we protect our rural communities?
We can and should find ways to pursue both of these endeavors. Affordable housing needs to be available in the already built-up areas, along established road corridors and bus routes. At the same time, we need to preserve the rural landscapes that remain in our county. My family has placed conservation easements on our land, Hickory Nut Gap Farm. We have just opened up a trail at Hickory Nut Gap that is open to the public. Greenways and trails are essential to the health of our people.
Voting yes on the Buncombe County bond referendum in November will bring both land conservation and affordable housing to our community at a critical juncture in our history. And there is some magic that happens with this money: It will be leveraged with state and federal dollars to bring even more resources to our county. Please vote yes on the Buncombe County bonds. You can learn more about them at [avl.mx/c2w].
— State Rep. John Ager