Letter writer: Cornerstone development poses risks to neighborhoods

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I reference your article of April 3 concerning opposition to the impending consideration of the Cornerstone development in Woodfin [“Updated: 196-unit Development Proposed for Elk Mountain Ridgeline, Xpress].

Upon reading in the media about a 24-unit housing development proposed in Woodside Hills in West Asheville, I see some vast differences in the developer’s approach. The developer there is being transparent as to his intentions. He has a name and is willing to meet with the community to discuss his intended development. The property in question is already zoned for 18 units, and he wants to add six more. The objections by the homeowners are decreased property values and increased traffic.

As for the objection to the proposed Cornerstone development on Elk Mountain ridge, there is a major difference in scenario. There is total confusion as to whom the developer/LLC actually is. The land sale depends on approval of the project from [the town of] Woodfin and the zoning [board]. No meetings have been called to actually explain anything to the neighborhood involved. No contracting firm with experience in building on a 49 percent slope has been named.

Because of that slope percentage, the neighborhoods of Sherwood Heights and Lakeview Park face drainage and erosion problems to properties and possibly excess silt impacting the Beaver Lake dam. Safety of access for possible Cornerstone owners is limited to two public access streets connecting to two narrow, winding mountain roads which feed into Merrimon Avenue, already a traffic nightmare.

Yes, the neighborhood faces the same quality-of-life issues as the aforementioned Woodside Hills, but the stakes here are higher: safety, environmental impact and unstable construction on a steep slope.

Development in Asheville and surrounds is inevitable, but there are too many unanswered questions with Cornerstone and too many risks to northern Buncombe County for this development to be approved.

— Elizabeth W. Hill


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