Free Property Owners' Rights Seminar September 28th


Are you a property owner in the River Arts District and potentially impacted by the RADTIP (River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project), then attend this FREE seminar being conducted by the law firm, Henson Fuerst:
When: September 28th, 5:30pm
Where: Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood St
What will be covered:
  • Property owners' legal rights in land condemnation actions
  • A review of the maps provided by NCDOT for land and properties impacted
  • How the condemnation process works
  • Potential challenges to the RADTIP project
  • What just compensation means

48 Ft Over the Road Trucks coming to River Arts District


104 total trips by trucks PER DAY (52 trucks per day)

12 to 52 Trucks in 6 Years
At the moment, you don't notice it because they only have about 12 round trips per day (6 trucks, both ways). But by 2022 (in 6 years), this is estimated to increase to 52 trucks per day, amounting to 104 trips.

Why does this matter?
These trucks will be rolling down Riverside Drive. For now, New Belgium is using a smaller size truck because the full size cannot fit under the Norfolk Southern Railway Bridge a/k/a Festus Bypass (this is located adjacent to Smoky Park Supper Club).

The City has started negotiations with Norfolk Southern to LOWER the road running underneath Festus Bypass.  No idea yet on the cost or if this can actually be done. As it is, that area floods during any kind of rain so lowering the road 2 or 3 feet will only make it worse.

Why will there be so many trucks?
For months and the last few years there has been a lot of discussion about truck traffic due to the impending opening of New Belgium across the French Broad River.  Why? Because the French Broad River site is the brewing site but the distribution center is in Enka-Candler. Traffic studies and alternative truck route studies were conducted.

West Asheville backlash
New Belgium began the PR machine in 2012 to help neighbors swallow the idea of massive trucks coming through their neighborhood but this was met with harsh backlash from the West Asheville neighborhood.  They certainly did not want 104 truck trips per day.  In order to achieve its needs for truck traffic, it convinced the City to lower the road running underneath Festus Bypass.

But why the fuss? 
Because the main trucks that will be traveling down Haywood and Riverside Drive, through the River Arts District, are 48 ft otr (over-the-road) trucks and this is what they look like:

Wilma Dykeman would roll in her grave if she saw these.  We don't think this is what she envisioned would be rolling along the French Broad River. How many of these? According to the City and New Belgium's truck analysis, when they are at full capacity,

How do we know this? Straight from the horse's mouth:

Perhaps New Belgium will keep using the smaller trucks in which case, that probably means more than the 52 trucks planned for.

New Belgium & City of Asheville: Conflicts of Interest Do Not Apply

In our research we learned that the Economic Development Agreement, part of MOU between New Belgium and the City of Asheville agreed to exclude one particular law: Conflicts of Interest.  Why? Because both the City of Asheville and New Belgium knew that they would be running roughshod over that very law.  In other words, there would be a lot of back scratching which we have written about before (click here and here).  Here is one example in which one of the City Attorneys, yep, your City Attorney, is not only trying to take care of one her bestfriend's friend but also seeking a position for herself with New Belgium.

In this email exchange January 13 and 14, 2015, Jannice Ashley, one of the City of Asheville's attorneys, ask about a position for her bestfriend's friend and gently inquires about New Belgium's hiring of legal staff. Keep in mind, that Jannice Ashley, is one of the attorneys for the City and has been meeting with property owners, including us, about the eminent domain process happening in the River Arts District. Specifically, she met with us about 5 Riverside Drive in which that property will be taken so that a road can run through it to allow for New Belgium's trucks along Riverside Drive. Who do you think she is negotiating for? She clearly doesn't represent the property  owners and will not be fully forthcoming in that information. She clearly wishes to leave the City of Asheville so our guess is, she will be doing everything to grease the wheels for New Belgium.

Click on email to enlarge.

Joe Davis, the New Belgium representative, replies with this:

And then Jannice responds with this:

We already saw how conflicts of interest work when it comes to New Belgium. The very same guy hired by the City of Asheville who did the study on alternative truck routes for New Belgium, went to work for New Belgium. He is now their number #1 guy handling the construction.  It looks like everyone wants to get in on the action.  You can read all about that here.