In general, I believe that my presence at these Asheville-versus-Leicester meetings is helpful because it makes them less partisan, but I suppose I may also be a hindrance if I prevent Leicester from compromising on area, leaving out my home, and thus risking the whole incorporation effort.
As for drawing municipal boundaries, I was told that the Cove Creek [Cottages] gay [“nondiscriminatory”] development is on Old Highway 20. I looked that up and noticed that part of that road passes somewhat close to Woodfin, so I would suggest offering that [area] to Woodfin, so that gated gays can live in community in the same town as [those] UNCA staff and off-campus students [who] also reside across the city line from UNCA in Woodfin. It seems to me like everyone would be happier that way, unless many Leicester-incorporation petition signers live in between.
It might be too much work, but if possible I would suggest looking up all the Leicester petition signers who live near the proposed borders and drawing the lines to include them and exclude anyone who we know to oppose Leicester incorporation or support zoning—like the guy who spoke at the Feb. 13 meeting and Buncombe Planning Director Jim Coman—and to negotiate hard for the properties of petition signers in the ETJ [extraterritorial jurisdiction] near Asheville. Leicester representatives have been drawing borders for the sake of simplicity, but it may take GIS help to bring individual properties into play. I also see no reason not to draw lines accommodating the wishes of tenants as well as property owners, as long as they understand how much zoning increases rents.
Asheville seems to think they need annexation far more than they really do, because truly progressive urban policies can easily support themselves, as the immense wealth of Provincetown, Mass., San Francisco and Reno can easily demonstrate. So their objections are based on their own delusions of economic dependency.
Leicester doesn’t need Asheville’s water, either, and can easily drill town wells and make our own independent water system. Municipal sovereignty and zoning are far bigger than water, and Leicester has far more water than Gaza, which is “near” Tel Aviv, but also not very gay friendly.
— Alan Ditmore