Just whose value counts?

I was really saddened to read [the recent] blurb about the eviction of Gabriel and Livia Ferrari [“Property Owners Left Out in the Cold,” The Buzz, March 5]. Despite being religious wing nuts, they had a beautiful and interesting house.

Now I’m not a libertarian about many things, but property rights is definitely one of them. The idea that people can’t do what they want on their own property as long as it’s not hurting anyone else is downright disturbing. Aside from the man-eating goats and those deadly piles of rubble, what had the Ferraris done that could be viewed as harming others? Unless, of course, we include the concept of property value. Can this really be considered harm to others? This kind of thinking destroys the uniqueness of our neighborhoods and is certainly assigning a higher value to value than value deserves.

This value concept seems like it will clash more in the future as people wake up and try to live the right way: getting rid of their wasteful, stupid lawns and replacing them with small-scale urban farms. This includes the dreaded and deadly livestock. I can certainly agree to building codes and their enforcement concerning those who are renting, [when] some scum lord’s neglect is putting tenants in danger. But if [people] want to “endanger” themselves by not following code, that is their right—whether or not it’s legal.

I’m sure Kevin Wei, the new property owner, will “try to find the best use of the property and improve the value of the neighborhood” by putting up some bull—-t condos.

— Joseph Crawley

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3 thoughts on “Just whose value counts?

  1. nuvue

    While I think some building codes are prudent….the historical assoc. goes beyond their bounds. In Montford and some other areas you are NOT allowed to add solar panels to the roof or fix extremely energy guzzuling windows. You are not allowed (on your own property) to change a roof shingle from a fossil fuel crappy asphalt shingle to better metal (to make rainwater collection) or recycled roofing types without a huge rigamarole and acceptance by the historical people… Why should they be able to dictate what type of roof is better for my house????

  2. I believe that Mr.Ferrari, however fanatical he may be, is a victim of closed-door loophole archeology.
    Throughout his 20 years of ownership, Mr. Ferrari has no doubut accrued a number of complaints from neighbors, for his unsightly collection of sculptures and found-object materials, his animals, his lifestyle… but what bothered everyone the most was that he put a religious spin to his work.

    Instead of making a living in the River Arts District welding together sculptures for clients, he putted around his yard creating religious sculptures and shrines, “preaching” to anyone who passed by with depictions of the ten-commandments.

    Mr. Ferrari is a victim of the epic battle between the church and the state. The city didn’t like his aesthetic, so they used the fact that it was religious propaganda to have it confiscated and torn down.

    Please follow my photo essay of this property on my website, http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeporcenaluk/sets/72157604168455329/

    If you would like to see Mr. Ferrari’s sculptures and raw materials recycled and reused instead of simply crushed and bulldozed over; contact Kevin Wei of Buncombe Realty, (Kevin@buncomberealty.com 301-2021) and ask him to donate this piece of West Asheville to the art community.

  3. Nuvue,

    In addition, in Montford, because of those absurd fools at the Montford Histarical Society (MHS) (the Property Value Posse, as I like to call them) you can’t even put a small picket fence up in your yard to keep your children from wandering into the road and being hit by a cop driving down Montford ave at 60 plus mph.

    It’s rules like this that put the madness of property value and land speculation (that, thankfully, seems to finally be bursting as houses in Montford now sit unsold for months) before community values and neighborhood input. The rules exist to ‘protect’ the integrity of the neighborhood, but end up working against the community value. Many people who are part of the old guard at the MHS don’t even want to stay in Monford. They just want to flip their house and move on. So why should they be allowed to tell people who actually LIVE in these neighborhoods what is ‘historical’? Is the 1980’s Montford ghetto with Drugs and Murder part of the historical picture, or only one person’s insane vision of some Victorian Soap Opera?

    The Ferrari’s house was a piece of west asheville that will be in the picture books. Something that the community can idealize as a piece of the past instead of a functioning community fixture in the present.

    If Keven Wei wants to sell those sculptures, I hope people laugh in his face. The neighborhood should liberate them in broad daylight. I think The Ferrari’s should team up with some of our local Anarchist Community and just squat the house.

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