Letter writer: Zoning laws could ensure future buildings complement natural beauty

I recently returned from a visit to Scottsdale, Ariz. All of the houses and businesses there are set back 200 feet from the roads. The exterior of all the buildings match the sand of the desert floor and none of them are more then two stories high. Billboards are nonexistent As a result, when you drive through town, it feels like you’re in the middle of the desert.

Clearly, it would be ridiculous to suggest that we demolish the thousands of buildings that already exist in Asheville, but it would not be out of the question to rewrite our zoning laws to require that all future structures blend in with the flora and geology [of] Western North Carolina.

The mountains are the reason people visit, stay and move to Asheville. Every building that goes up that detracts from their beauty moves us one step closer to aesthetic and economic disaster.

— Steve Rosenthal

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12 thoughts on “Letter writer: Zoning laws could ensure future buildings complement natural beauty

  1. Good idea. Let’s replace all municipal zoning ordinances with the writer’s recommendation:

    “All structures shall blend in with the flora and geology of Western North Carolina.”

  2. Jim

    LOL. They stuck a box on Biltmore Ave that blocks the sunlight and makes you feel like you’re in a tunnel and this tool wants to change the zoning regs? Too late.

  3. bsummers

    In North Carolina, local governments no longer have the ability to decide these things. Wiser heads in Raleigh have increasingly taken that zoning authority away from us, at least as long as the right palms are greased by the building industries.

    Ask your local GOP shill: If The Money wants it, it’s gooooood.

    • Jim

      So you’re saying that the development in the area is all recent and that commiecrats are oblivious to it even though they were in power for all the time this was happening? Can it be that the local cronies were about redevelopment and greasing the palms of their dearest friends like DH Griffith who seem to be the EXCLUSIVE demolition company of the government, Putnam, who has EXCLUSIVE property holdings in PRIME areas all over,? Or is it the non-profits like Cragnolin who has her gummy hands out for money while pushing for rezoning in the RAD?

      Your problem is you think labels are an EXCLUSIVE and INDICATIVE definition of one’s character. When left wing loons claim they are all about freedom and choice, you just told us all that in reality the left is about taking it away. Par for the course of an ideology that fears certain words and actions like smoking in private establishment and uses BANS to CONTROL people. Or has to continually change their own words like global warming to climate change in order to evoke emotional responses from mindless and uniformed sheep simply to manipulate them. Merely because they falsely assume that limiting people while lying to them is progress.

      • bsummers

        I was prepared to take you seriously, and then “commiecrats” took your credibility away. Have a nice day.

        • Jim

          Hey, you see the article in the ACT about 12 Bones being demolished? And Bothwell’s response stating that Peterson shouldn’t complain because of the money he’ll make? What Bothwell doesn’t say is his own big mouth is the cause of having to bring in the Feds to do the council’s dirty work because of an article last year where he stated the development intentions in the RAD without telling Peterson first that the city was looking at buying the 12 Bones property. And when the price rose to the point the city was unwilling to pay for it, why just bring in Uncle Sam to condemn it and also pay for it. That’s what your friends stand for.

          • bsummers

            Not listening. (hands over ears) “La la la la la la….”

          • Jim

            Why the city NEEDS a roundabout at the T intersection where in all reality and cost effectiveness, a simply traffic light would solve the problem. But it isn’t about traffic control but more about getting rid of a thorn in the side of not only the cronies that is local government, but Cragnolin as well.

          • Jim

            Of course you won’t listen. That’s what ideologues do, refuse to hold their own to standards while playing the moral superiority card when pointing fingers at others. But the corruption runs deep.

  4. hauntedheadnc

    Seems to be another case of someone lamenting how nice Asheville would be if only someone hadn’t gone and built this damn city in the middle of it.

    The mountains really aren’t the reason people come to Asheville. Asheville is the reason people come to Asheville. If they only wanted mountains, they’d go to Burnsville or some such. No, they come here because there is, lamentably, a city in the middle of all this, and if that city had been built such that everything was set way back from the road it would not be a city. It would, rather, be Tunnel Road, where everything sits comfortably way back from the street. It also strikes me that the letter writer didn’t take into account the fact that if things were built to blend in, there would be a hell of a lot more tall buildings — mountains reach for the sky and it would only be fitting that buildings in the mountains would too.

    So, all in all, just another NIMBY not thinking things through and not realizing that people are free to move here, people want to move here, and as a city we must figure out how to fit them in without running everyone else out.

  5. Zeke

    How is no one calling bs on this? Every house is set back 200 feet? Do you realize how far that is? I’ve never been to Scottsdale but I have a very hard time believeing that ordinance is on the books. (A quick perusal of google maps shows very little setback in Scottsdale)

    Steve’s point is well meaning but naively stated, and that’s fine, but I do hate to see incorrect facts printed, as so happens in these letters.

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