Asheville Daily Planet
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The Daily Planet's Opinion:March 2017
Monday, 06 March 2017 12:13

Kudos to City Council for nixing 8-story hotel

Congratulations to Asheville City Council for listening to its constituents’ concerns about seemingly out-of-control downtown hotel construction.

Council not only listened — but acted —  by voting 7-0 on Jan. 24 to reject an eight-story $24 million Embassy Suites at 192 Haywood St., on the northwestern edge of downtown. The issue was aired painstakingly, as the vote followed a three-hour hearing on the hotel proposal.

At last, council paid heed to the concerns of many citizens — the possibility of downtown losing its quirky, artsy and “un-chained” character to developers who are jamming the district with pricey hotels, resulting in hordes of rich tourists, all of which may transform the area into Anytown, USA. 

Also, the hotels tend to offer relatively low pay and strain the infrastructure with traffic congestion, parking issues and a probable uptick in crime.

With the spectre of gentrification looming, our downtown is in the midst of a decade-long hotel building boom that could exceed $163 million by 2018. 

Meanwhile, the developer of the rejected hotel recently announced plans to go to court to challenge council’s decision. We will see what happens....

Our downtown is a rare jewel  — and we are glad council is working to keep it a sparkling oasis of uniqueness amid a nation of look-alike cities.



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