Letter writer: Voice your opinion on Asheville’s growth

Graphic by Lori Deaton

As you drive through Asheville, you probably have noticed the large tracts of woodlands being cleared for storage units or prefab housing developments. That multistory hotels will soon dominate the our city’s skyline goes without saying. Despite the appearance of a lively discussion of Asheville’s future in public forums like the Mountain Xpress, construction is moving ahead at a rapid pace.

The fact is the City Council is divided on the how much and what direction growth should take in the Land of Sky.

If you want Asheville to remain a town of mountains and culture for people of all socioeconomic classes, it is extremely important that you take a few minutes to send an email, however brief, to your Council person and/or mayor stating your views. They are sensitive to any direct communication they get from individual citizens. Your message will make a difference.

— Steve Rosenthal
Asheville

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16 thoughts on “Letter writer: Voice your opinion on Asheville’s growth

  1. The Real World

    Why don’t we take a cue from hotel occupancy rates and whatever info can be complied about what local business revenues are month-to-month in 2016 versus the same periods of the last 2 years.

    Let’s see if data (facts!) can give us a window into what the near-term future may look like. And, naturally, we need actual numbers not ‘massaged’ ones.

  2. Hauntedheadnc

    Since when has Asheville been a town for “people of all socioeconomic classes”? That ship sailed about a decade ago.

    • Lulz

      And with rising tax rates, you’re about to witness a huge gentrification happen if the area is LUCKY. IMO, these idiots don’t realize that they’re about to kill the golden goose because of their greed.

    • boatrocker

      Amen, poster with ghosts in head.

      As for the OP’s comment “your message will make a difference”, well I used to write a letter to Santa Claus detailing how good I was and why I deserved an Atari. I never got one.
      Asheville has been bought, sold, paid for and our leaders only listen when key words are used.
      Hotels
      Breweries
      Tourism

  3. Yep

    AVL caters to the lowest socio economical people with unbelieveable handouts unlike most all other cities in providing free stuff.
    It’s unprecedented and keeps AVL poor very dependent.

    Because we DON’T yet have DISTRICT ELECTIONS, one cannot contact their own City Council person, but soon we will have better represention with 6 new city voting DISTRICTS ! The wails and moans from the lieberal progressives in current control are laughable and ridiculous. Tell ALL of Council and Mayor your thoughts, requests AND demands often! Their collective email is:

    AshevilleNCCouncil@AshevilleNC.gov and of course they each have separate emails of their own that are useful.

  4. AVL LVR

    Asheville only grew about 700 people last year. That is hardly a cause for alarm. Charlotte added 17,695 people in one year from July 2014 to July 2015.

    Some of our growth is tourism based. I wanted the hotel tax to go toward infrastructure not bringing in more tourists.

    • hauntedheadnc

      What’s more likely to have happened is somewhere between 3000 and 4000 moved in and 2300 to 3300 moved out, which is rather a cause for alarm. People are leaving Asheville because it’s getting to be impossible to afford to live here if you have to work here, and don’t just bring your out-of-town money with you.

      • AVL LVR

        I am not alarmed with the population growth, but I did have some concerns regarding uncontrolled tourism. People move out because it is not the Shangri-La they thought it was. Asheville is way behind cities in a lot of areas. Knoxville and Greenville have better parks and greenways than us. Our library system is bad. The rents are unaffordable because city council blocks some development which discourages others. Asheville is not that dense of a city, much of the land is underutilized. There are problems as you see it, but uncontrolled population growth is not one of them. Asheville only added 700 people. Tourism based growth is a problem unless we fairly see returns rebuilding infrastructure like the hotel tax could bring. I don’t want Asheville to be like Gatlinburg which is crowded yet only 3,944 people live there.

  5. AVL LVR

    The areas surrounding Ashville probably are more conducive for people of all socioeconomic classes. The cost of land and to build on mountainous terrain will prohibit affordability. Developers would need to build up and have more units to drive down costs, but we all know the opposition surrounding that.

    My main focus is improving the quality of life here. Some of the existing buildings and new construction are ugly. We need better design standards. Granite curbing would be nice downtown like Charleston has. I would rename and enlarge Burnett Reservoir and open it to recreational use. You could even have a ski area in Buncombe County just outside Montreat where the mountains go up over 5,000′ high.

    Any time you improve an area, desirability and prices skyrocket. That is just a cost of living in a nice place. If you rather live in a dump with affordable housing, move to Haiti. Otherwise, you could commute from Canton.

    Canton & Waynesville and surrounding areas could be turned into affordable suburbs.

    • Craig Randolph

      The more things change, the more they stay the same, goes the old saying, and I can clearly see you’ve not changed nary a bit since I responded to one of your other ridiculous diatribes here in the Mountain Xpress.
      First, are you among those of us who love our clear, clean resource for water here in Asheville, and want to keep it that way? Then, nix any plans for any kind of development in the Asheville Watershed /North Fork area of Buncombe county. Also, why would you want to change the name of the Burnett Reservoir ? Do you even know the Burnett from whence it got it’s name?
      Also, is your self-esteem so fragile that it pumps you up to attempt to cut others down? As I remember, my last correspondence with you here was regarding your sad, misguided attempts regarding those who didn’t keep their yards/property up to some nebulous standard that only exited in your head. So, now it’s the fine folks who live in Canton/Waynesville/Haywood county who come under the gaze of your oh so discriminating palate now, huh? Hey, Haywood county folk…those from Waynesville, Canton, Clyde, Hazelwood, Fines Creek, Allen’s Creek, Jonathon’s Creek,Maggie Valley, Cruso, Big Bend, Sunburst, Newfound, Frog Level, Pigeon, East Fork, West Fork, Balsam, Dellwood, Lake Junaluska, Richland Creek, Cataloochee, and everywhere in between, please disregard the comments expressed by one, Avl Lvr, who regards your stunningly beautiful slice of the mountains fit for nothing more than to serve as a backyard for Asheville. And, for her dig at you, Canton, wanna set up a go fund me account and purchase a one way ticket for this clearly delusional person to experience the dumpy housing of Haiti first hand?

      • AVL LVR

        Craig, you do not understand how cities spread out. You said, “Avl Lvr, who regards your stunningly beautiful slice of the mountains fit for nothing more than to serve as a backyard for Asheville.” Haywood County is a part of the Asheville metropolitan area of which Asheville is the principle city . So, yes, it is Asheville’s backyard. I do not necessarily advocate for population growth as I stated before, but if you where to address hauntedheadnc’s statement where people are leaving because a lack of affordability, I said try cheaper areas of the metro area including Haywood County. Waynesville and other areas of Haywood actually look very nice. Canton does not. Everyone can clearly see it needs some TLC.

        Burnett Reservoir was actually used for recreation before. The problem is hardly anyone knows Burnett. I don’t generally advocate naming bridges or places after unknown people. Name it after something that inspires or is beautiful/descriptive.

        I have been to Haiti before. It is an extreme example of people to lazy to clean up after themselves. I am only asking people to clean their lawns and trash. Affordability is not always a positive. Try working harder or getting an education to afford something nice.

    • Phil Williams

      You mentioned the granite curbs – I remember when there actually was a lot of that along Asheville streets – when I was a kid (and I am not that old) you could still see a few places where the streetcar tracks used to run and some streets were still brick or cobbles (I believe part of Market St still may be)….then in the 90’s someone thought it would be a good idea to remove the granite curbing and replace it….

      • AVL LVR

        I think some areas still have it. I think is a different stone maybe like the Blue Ridge Parkway. In the old days, all southern downtown used them. Greenville, NC, Raleigh, Atlanta, Charlotte, Charleston still have it downtown. Norfolk, VA does not, but I like how they combine brick and granite on their street and sidewalk along E Main St. Cobbles is nice too. I think if we use the Hotel Tax, we can make significant infrastructure improvements that green and beautify downtown particularly but also the whole city. For example, rename Bowen Bridge and make it a signature bridge leading into the city. Craig may be attached to the name Bowen, but is does not convey the beauty of the area as say the Golden Gate Bridge does for CA.

        • Phil Williams

          Yes – I think there were actually some of those curbs where the visible part was the “tip of the iceberg” as it were! The stone was a big slab that went deep – and some of them were too difficult to remove!

        • Phil Williams

          BTW, why all this renaming of everything? Bowen Bridge was named for a young man who died performing his duty for the citizens of Asheville – it is not just a name Mr. Craig is attached to, it is a part of the area’s history. And before anyone goes jooging about Waynesville, Canton, et al – I am reminded of Humphrey Bogart’s response to Conrad Veidt’s question in “Casablance” about how he would feel if the Germans invaded New York….”well, there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn’t advise you to try to invade.” I am a native of Bethel, and I know a passel of folks who would not at all take kindly to your idea of making Haywood County a Suburb of Asheville…..

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