Dog park backlash in north Asheville

What's going on in my neighborhood? Over the past year, the idea of a dog park in the north Asheville community has been openly and publicly discussed at meetings held at the North Asheville Animal Hospital. Every time these meetings were scheduled, a very large sign was posted outside the animal hospital announcing the date, time and subject matter for the meetings. All were invited. The idea took off with support from north Ashevillians, and sites were being considered for the proposed dog park. Suddenly, a group of people started claiming they knew nothing about the proposal and that it was some kind of clandestine effort led by a few people, without input or support from the community at large.

Where were these people when the meetings were being held? And what are they doing now, other than disseminating untruthful, uninformed and outright hateful objections to the proposal? Remember, this is just a proposal, which is open to input from all members of the community and will address all concerns the opponents claim to have. These people refuse to even acknowledge that, as the idea has progressed, the proposal has grown to include not just a dog park, but a park suitable for all people to take advantage of. They also refuse to acknowledge that the very issues they claim to raise (environmental concerns, the future of the Killian House, ingress and egress to the proposed area, etc.) are on the table and being discussed.

Now we have hate signs appearing on Beaverdam Road. I would remind these folks that this is my neighborhood too, even as I worry about whether cross burnings on the lawns of those who support the proposal are what we should expect next.

Ignorance and hatred are not virtues.

— Patricia Wald

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