The blood is in the water: The ink is barely dry on the Ellington disaster when another (ugh) developer is shopping his vision for Asheville to our elected officials. His vision? More high-rise, twenty-plus story buildings in downtown Asheville.
I will be curious to see how much more the voters in Asheville will allow the developers to do to change this city into the New York City of the mountains.
So far I’m not optimistic. The voters in Asheville have taken apathy to another level. Turnout in the 20 percentile in the last election? Third World countries have a better voting record, and our elected officials—and business sectors—who seem to swoon like lovesick teenagers whenever a developer comes courting will be of no help in this latest assault on the limited resources and space of the city.
“Upward density” seems to be the catch phrase for the proponents of so-called “smart growth.” I propose another: “Density is density, no matter the direction.”
My prediction: City Council and the county commissioners will fold like a cheap deck of cards and acquiesce to every developer now that the precedent has been set with The Ellington, and the voters will do absolutely nothing about it. Not only that, [the voters] will continue to elect the same people by their apathy and nonparticipation in the process.
So the axiom is true. We get the government we deserve and, in this case, the city we deserve. And yes, if I’m still around, I will say I told you so.
— Jesse Junior