Did you ever just want to strangle somebody and get it over with? There’s a line in one of my songs that goes, “I’m gonna put you out of my misery.” I’m kidding, of course, but that’s how it feels for a lot of us right now as we read David Case’s quote about the proposed Sovereign Oaks development on the Old Coggins Farm in the June 24 issue of Mountain Xpress. (No personal offense, David.)
In the well-written article by Xpress reporter Carrie Eidson, Case is quoted as saying, “We’re really excited and we have a beautiful project.” He goes on to say, “The land is exquisite, and it’s going to be a special project. There will be lots of community gathering points and trails.”
Hold everything! This is a pristine, historic family farm that a developer is proposing to put under high-end housing in a community that is already struggling with insufficient farmland. (See www.fourfutures.org for a thoughtful and powerful video series about farmland and land use in the North Carolina mountains.)
What could the developer possibly be excited about other than the idea of profiting from doing the wrong thing in the wrong place at the wrong time? The Asheville area already has a surplus of unsold high-end real estate and we certainly don’t need one more “Sovereign Oaks,” especially on a farm that could and should be protected while offering much higher benefits to the community, as you will see at the Four Futures website.
Look up the word “sovereign” in the dictionary. It’s insightful, and it’s worth the trouble.
— Ian Booth