A Decision King Soloman Might Find Difficult - TribPapers

A Decision King Soloman Might Find Difficult

Photo by Alex Shute on Unsplash

Weaverville – The Weaverville Town Council is about to make a tough decision next month. One I would not look forward to if I was in their shoes. One that will make them “put their money where their mouth is,” so to speak. I’m talking about whether or not to provide water to a low-income housing project at 171 Monticello Road.

The project is sure to split the community, with one side looking to show and demonstrate to the people and the Buncombe County government (which has already pledged a $1.5 million low-interest loan to the development) an interest in showing compassion and a willingness to provide affordable housing. And those who are concerned that such a project will attract drugs and crime to the area and tax the town’s resources, like its water.

The project proposed by LDG Mutlifamily LLC would provide 168 units and, unlike the other two apartment projects just down the road, be exclusively for low-income residents so that residents of the project could afford their rent and still get a McDonald’s hamburger once in a while.
Landon Cox, the development project’s manager, told the Tribune this private project would have rules that would keep it from having problems like the Maple Crest project in Asheville. At least one opponent of the project was cited in the monthly council meeting by at least one opponent (See article page 6).

Landon said the 168 units would be contained in seven buildings on a little more than 10 and a half acres and would have at least a six-foot high wall around the project with a security gate. He also said his company had recently hired a former police chief to develop security plans and programs for their properties.

On the other hand, some residents are concerned about what elements the low-income apartments might bring to the community. Unless your head is in the sand or you’re new to the area, we all know what problems have gone on at Lee Walker Heights, now Maple Crest, Deaverview Apartments, and Hill Crest in the past.

Those were all public housing projects that (no offense meant to the good people who live there) have attracted harmful elements to their apartments. Cox also mentioned that there could be a sizable number of immigrants living in the development, and they would be meeting with immigration lawyers.

Now I, myself, am for immigration. Heck, years ago, my ancestors were immigrants. However, I am for legal immigration into the country, not this open border policy we are currently seeing. Without proper screening by immigration officials, we don’t know who’s coming into the country. This has led to drug cartel members now being in our area. News like that only adds to the concerns of residents.

Also adding to the concerns is the additional strain on a water system which is approaching 70% of its capacity by adding the 56,000 gallons per day requested by the project and no law enforcement by any department except the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office. There’s no tax value to the town, whose resources will undoubtedly be taxed by the development, only the ability to charge more than town residents pay for the water. Here, you have a decision a wise king like Soloman might have trouble resolving.

One thing the council should keep in mind is what Weaverville resident Harry Harper told the board at the meeting. Harper pointed out that the town’s ordinance (30-18 paragraph 5) stated that the council would only grant water to property outside the town “when it is in the town’s best interest to do so.” Harper stated to the board members that they were elected to represent the people living in Weaverville, not those who wanted to live in Weaverville.

The question is, will the council go by the town’s ordinance, to which the project seems to have no upside except to show compassion for their fellow citizens? Or do they follow their compassionate side for those less fortunate and incur the wrath of some of the town’s voters who consider this project not in the “best interest of the town”?

Since prayer seems to have gone out of fashion at government meetings, I would suggest that those who do pray for the council to have wisdom on how to proceed.