Letter writer: Asheville’s reactions to growth show how people dislike change

It seems that a lot of Asheville residents have strong opinions as to what our city should be and the types of people who should live here. I cringe to see the occasional “Keep Asheville Weird” and  “Don’t Move Here” bumper stickers. Who among us can claim the rights to any place, really?

The boundary lines that contain our cities, states and countries are arbitrary human inventions. As we are now a mobile society, not everyone chooses to remain in their place of birth. For those of you whose family did not settle WNC three generations ago, how did you feel when you moved here? Were you welcomed by the existing community? I was and have thrived here because of it.

I also hear many complaints about tourists. As a commission-based employee of a small downtown business, my income is equally dependent on local residents and visitors. Let’s welcome this boost to our economy instead of biting the hand that feeds us! And let’s not forget what it feels like to be a tourist in a new city and how we would wish to be received by the locals. How fortunate are we to live in a place beautiful enough for someone’s vacation!

Growth and expansion are a necessary part of a vital life; resistance is futile. Asheville’s reactions to growth serve as a reminder of how much human beings dislike change, even the “weird” ones.

Cameron Walker

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10 thoughts on “Letter writer: Asheville’s reactions to growth show how people dislike change

  1. Jim

    Being a native of Asheville, the boom here has ruined the area. Don’t care who that offends or what people think. When a cow pasture on Hendersonville Road is replaced with a McDonald’s, yeah the place is becoming another paved over mecca for idiots. And there’s no shortage of them.

    A few years ago in my neighborhood in the north end, there was a small piece of land that had horses on it. Walked by it and them everyday. You know what’s going there now? 3 ugly contemporary houses.

    • Jason W.

      Perhaps your beef shouldn’t be with the people who are moving here but the people living here who sold their land to the developers.

  2. “Who among us can claim the rights to any place, really?”

    Entitled progressives who want other people to suffer so they can see the horseys.

  3. John

    There is an opinion article “Tired of Newcomers? So is Portland.” Portland has over 600,000 people and Asheville has less than 100,000. Asheville has a ways to go and at our current growth rate it will probably never make it.

    I sympathize with Jim. Farms are so beautiful. To see them go is sad. We must preserve farmland and rein in sprawl. Build up not out.

  4. Sonja Dunbar

    As someone who moved to Asheville 29 yrs. ago, I would NEVER want the city/area to go back to what it was then. Where ever I go and say that I live in Asheville, I get such positive comments on what a beautiful place it is and on and on. You native residents should be proud to live in a city that has progressed, rather than gone backwards like so many towns have done because they did not have forward thinking leaders. No place stays the same! When you stay the same, you are actually going backwards as my hometown in a tourist area in WI has done. The natives had disdain for progress and for tourists, wanted things to stay the same, but they went backwards and now the tourists go to other towns that have welcomed them while my hometown stuggles. Asheville is a great place, embrace it, be proud of it, and if you could actually go back to what Asheville used to be, I really don’t think you’d like it!!

  5. paved over

    I don’t think Mr. Walker meant to invoke a mindless, amoral growth machine when he said “Resistance is futile.” Or maybe he did mean to reference The Borg from “Star Trek” whose only goal is to grow bigger, the quality of life be damned. Just because growth was good in the past doesn’t mean it is now. Cities can control how many people move within their borders. It’s called zoning. And one of the most controlled zoning areas in the country is almost within Asheville: Biltmore Forest. No one moves there unless all Forest inhabitants agree.

  6. mike seely

    Seems like editors do not think some commenters are actually telling the truth. Just like the ranters to rave.
    So, rather than comment on a site that is run by nattering naybobs , goodbye is all she wrote.
    We did come in 1898. We did sell out to eventually OMNI and Harry Blomberg. But, takes money to keep these piles of rocks and bricks running. So, best of luck to OMNI and others that keep the fires a burning.

    • Tracy Rose

      Mike Seely, I’m one of the editors at Xpress, but I’m not sure I understand your comment. I think Xpress definitely wants to share all sorts of perspectives, including those from people whose families have been here for generations.

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