The two articles on downtown development in the recent Xpress were interesting on their own, but also in their opposing recommendations [“A House Divided” and “Going Up?,” Aug. 6]. The master plan called for different development guidelines for different areas and called for maintaining the “Traditional Downtown” for local retail, arts, government etc. It would have a height restriction on the buildings. Other areas like the “South Slope” or the “Beaucatcher Gateway” would not have the same height restriction and would allow for denser infill.
This plan would keep the character of downtown intact, while allowing for smart growth and urban density in areas where it would not have the negative effects of 23-story buildings.
Interestingly, Tony Fraga’s Haywood Park project intends to do exactly what the master plan would prohibit. Robin Cape suggested awhile ago that big development decisions should be delayed until we had the master plan in place, and this seems to reinforce that idea.
This seems like a major fork in the road for Asheville and how it will develop. Delaying decisions for a few months to get a good working plan with citizen input seems like the best choice. I think the master plan that limits building height in the downtown area and encourages density and new high-rise development in emerging areas accommodates developers and smart growth, [while] preserving our unique character and local businesses.
— Boone Guyton