I’m sure most of Asheville is aware that there are six new hotels scheduled to be built in downtown Asheville in the coming months.
What you may not know is how this came about, how City Council voted to recuse themselves from oversight on large-scale projects and allowed [it to be handled by] “staff,” a euphemism for that mysterious group of city employees, who, in effect, decide who, what, when and where building happens in Asheville and its environs.
Many of these projects are done with little or no public input, back room, if you will. The latest proposal on the table will allow people to build “add-ons” to their property, basically a smaller second home to be used for rental purposes. Another [is a] a proposed hotel across from the Basilica [of St. Lawrence]: Some groups have called for a green space there instead. That decision will have to wait until after the next City Council elections. No one wants that on their resume right now. Place your bets, folks.
So much for smart growth, and since I’ve given up on our politicians’ ability to govern and control the growth and development of the city, I would at least like to see the faces of this mysterious organization known as “staff,” who for all intents and purposes have become the de facto heads of government in Asheville when it comes to development.
— Jesse Junior