Comments on" If the creek don’t rise: Flooding, money and politics in the River Arts District"

The Mountain Xpress recently published a very informative article, "If the creek don't rise: Flooding, money and politics in the River Arts District."  (Click here for article).  This article was very detailed and unlike some of the other fluff stuff written by other media, this one actually asked very good questions that go to the heart of the matter.

There were a few assertions made that we would like to comment on:

No Hotel?

Stephanie Monson reports that they are NOT planning on pursuing a riverfront hotel, "“It was one of four scenarios, and it’s not the scenario the city is pursuing. The city is not pursuing a certificate to get the restrictions removed, as has been reported.”

FEMA Deed Restrictions?

She further states they are not planning on lifting the deed restrictions since they are not planning on a hotel scenario.

Well, we question these statements for two main reasons:

1) The Riverside Drive Redevelopment Plan that includes the hotel was adopted in August 2014, less than a year ago.  The AARRC has made no amendment to it or refuted any portion of the plan.

2) According to every action the AARRC has so far taken, they seem to be following through on every aspect of that Plan. Remember: actions speak louder than words.  Phase 2 of the Plan was the implementation of Form BAsed Code. The City has just hired Code Studio to do that.  Phase 3 of the Plan... a hotel.  We see that coming in about 2 to 3 years if they continue with their plans.

At this point, the AARRC says they are not pursuing these two major changes. We will continue to watch this unfold and keep them accountable to those statements.

Flood Insurance
Jerry Sternberg, a former owner of property in the RAD, says flood insurance covers everything, "flood insurance] is provided by FEMA and is manageable. Any new building in the floodway has to be built above the 100-year flood level, and utilities must be elevated to meet insurance requirements. If you build to their specifications, the insurance is not prohibitive.”

First of all, building to their specifications is extremely expensive and does NOT mitigate or reduce damages.  Damages will be incurred. It's a matter of who pays for the rebuilding.  FEMA also does NOT pay for lost wages or lost business income.

Second, FEMA is well known for paying far less than the actual damages.  Remember, the 60 Minutes expose on FEMA which ran March 1, 2015?  Here's the link to that video. When we experienced the flood of 2004, FEMA offered less than 1% of damages.

Other Asheville Rivergate Related Flood Articles:

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