The city of Asheville and Buncombe County are no strangers to the use of eminent domain. As you reported [“A House Divided: Community at Odds over Downtown Master Plan,” Aug. 6], the city’s African-American community is well aware that “[ i ]n the 1970s, hundreds of buildings around the Southside Avenue and Valley Street (now South Charlotte Street) areas were seized via eminent domain and demolished.”
Using eminent domain then to claim private property wasn’t too expensive or legally entangled. There’s no excuse for our municipal officials not to use eminent domain now to reclaim the public parkland sold in error to private developer Stewart Coleman for his Parkside condominium project. Or is the difference a matter of race and class?
— Lisa Sarasohn