On an upcoming article we will discuss the ways that members of the AARRC have themselves financially benefited from their knowledge and association with this commission and New Belgium. Back to the topic on hand...
Why does 12 Bones matter?
From what we can tell, the 12 Bones property is a case example of a known property that will have to be acquired. The City and those in charge of this plan have certain feelings about this and those feelings are not in favor of any property owner. Commercial and residential property owners in or around the River Arts District and who are also around the New Belgium property should be concerned.
New Belgium Influence
New Belgium? What do they have to do with it? Well, New Belgium needs a better road in order to accommodate 75 eighteen-wheeler trucks on Riverside Drive between Broadway and Craven Street (aqccording to Jay Richardson of New Belgium), basically, 150 trips per day. They also have many other plans for New Belgium such as a museum and sightseeing spots and guess what? They don't want to sightsee your house.
Concern over the Project, Not about the Property Owner
What's the current sentiment? Well, it's always easier to give away someone else's property when it ain't your own and so far, everyone involved except the owners themselves seem just fine with it:
Jan Davis, City Councilman and owner of Jan Davis Tires and who sat on the AARRC, was asked about the potential loss of 12 Bones and said "it's impact on the riverfront as a whole would be overwhelmingly positive. This is looking to the future." (December 6, 2012, Citizen Times, River project threatens 12 Bones).In other words, it's for the greater, long term good. He even thinks that the city is doing them a favor..
"This planning gives people who own the property to plan for their future." Well, funny thing is, he knows exactly who the property owner is and that property owner, Chris Peterson, has contributed to his campaign on several occasions but yet, Jan has never contacted Mr. Peterson about this. In fact, Mr. Peterson has received no such notice other than this first article in the paper in 2012.
When Pattiy Torno, currently chairwoman of the Asheville Area Riverfront Redevelopment Commission which is head of all of this and who is also owner of Curve Studios close to 12 Bones, was asked about the potential loss of 12 Bones, she said "...the bigger impact will come in making it easier for people to walk, ride, or park along what is now a substandard section of road." (Dec 25, 2015, Citizen Times, City seeks funds for RAD road plan).
Pattiy Torno is also concerned with the homeless but not in helping them. She wants them to move elsewhere. She said when she walks to the river "The people that come out of the tent are like, "What are you doing here?...If they're intimidating to me, they're intimidating to other people."
Dan Baechtold, the city transportation planner, says that because of the increase in traffic which will be caused by New Belgium (remember, the 150 trips per day of 18 wheelers), "...that's part of the thinking behind rerouting the roads near 12 Bones. To get throught that area now, northbound vehicles must make a sharp right turn in front of the restaurant." (Dec 25, 2012, Citizen Times, City seeks funds for RAD road plan). Question is, is he worried about the normal traffic or New Belgium's trucks? He even later states that there is no congestion problem right now.Dan goes on to say that there is a good chance 12 Bones will not survive the new roadway plan and will need to relocate (Dec 25, 2012, Citizen Times, City seeks funds for RAD road plan).
In short, the dream plan to have a 17 mile Greenway, combined with catering to the demands and promises made to New Belgium, have made our City leaders lose sight of the residential owners, tenants, business owners and property owners in this area. Get Ready.
Update: The Right of Way acquisition process is starting now! Click here to read more.