I can appreciated the city wanting to support the National Guarad Armory, but putting it in the city’s largest forest park, Richmond Hill—inaccessible to major transportation arteries—seems ill-conceived and bordering on criminal.
I realize that there are many important issues on the city’s agenda, but what could be more important than making sure our armory is strategically located with the appropriate facilities, and protecting and enhancing the city’s largest forested park.
Placing the armory in Richmond Hill Park weakens the Guard’s effectiveness and [ability to] react, due to the fact that it is on a dead-end road in a residential neighborhood and also the fact that Riverside Drive floods—[compromising] access a time when the armory’s resources would be most needed.
In addition, the ecological value of Richmond Hill, located directly on the French Broad River, is irreplaceable. “State Special Concern Species”, “NC Watch List Species” and species with special recognition in our mountains have been found in Richmond Hill Park. Why is the city not protecting these species and this rich environment for future generations’ enjoyment?
A real win/win opportunity awaits our city. Find a better place for the amory so that it can better meet the needs of the community, while at the same time protecting the largest natural preserve within the city of Asheville. It seems like a no-brainer!
— Yuri Koslen