Letter: When will we see investments that benefit taxpayers?

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Just like the old saying, “All dressed up and nowhere to go,” I feel there should be a saying for Buncombe County: “So much money and nowhere to spend it.” Between the Tourism Development Authority monies and the fee-in-lieu monies, when are we going to see an investment in our area that benefits the taxpayers of this area?

Take the TDA. Spending its budget on attracting tourists when we know the area has been on the map for a long time without the help of advertising. Tourists will come here no matter what. And in the meantime, tourists think about and possibly move here. Time to change the TDA spending on advertising versus infrastructure improvement.

Now, take the fee-in-lieu monies, particularly relating to current and proposed changes to the open-space regulations. Currently, the Open Space Amendment will be voted on by City Council July 26 and, if passed, will give developers even more opportunities to pay a fee to bypass open-space requirements. Therefore, this will provide more units in developments that the well-off tourists will buy. Meanwhile, our citizens are priced out of the market.

The amendment could add to the “too much money” coffers. But wait, when will the fee-in-lieu litigation be resolved that will free up the spending to purchase land made available to the public that had to give up the open space in their neighborhoods?

Why are we giving developers a “free pass” to build on every possible square inch of property? What will this reduction in open space do to our tree canopy? After all, isn’t Asheville called the “Tree City”? What will the fee-in-lieu monies that the developers can pay provide to our citizens? These questions need to be fully considered and be answered before the amendment is approved. If you want answers to all the questions this amendment raises, email your City Council members at AshevilleNCCouncil@ashevillenc.gov.

— Victoria Williamson


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5 thoughts on “Letter: When will we see investments that benefit taxpayers?

  1. indy499

    Poster wins an award for the millionth suggestion that the TDA spending rules should be changed.

    The assertion that making development easier to build more units will drive citizens out of the market is laughably inconsistent. You know, that supply and demand thing.

  2. Enlightened Enigma

    ROFLMAO! this writer actually believes that the city council will ever answer an emailed question … no , honey they will not. EVIL controls them and us.

  3. blueridgeguvnor

    Anyone who believes anything positive will happen in AVL with the current administration is delusional.

    You’ll only get soporific platitudes, short sighted policies, knee jerk reactionary decrees, and wasteful utopian magical thinking.

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