Preserve Crab Creek
WHO TO CONTACT
There are two ways to influence county officials:
Contact County Commissioners and Planning Board members directly. Their email addresses are below. If you know them personally and have their phone numbers, feel free to give them a call. Sample language is below.
Fill out a new county survey, intended to gather public response to the draft Comprehensive Plan released in September. Here's a big challenge with the survey. It primarily asks about the county's goals, which are admirable. Officials also need to know that the Plan, as drafted, can't achieve these goals. There's only one place in the survey where you can point that out: the little tiny last box on the page.
EMAIL COUNTY COMMISSION
County Commissioners will make the final decisions about the comprehensive plan. Please email them at least once before they vote on the plan, which could be as early as December. Feel free to email them again, but vary your message. Always be polite. These are smart, decent, hard-working people who care about the county as much as we do:
William Lapsley, Chair
(828) 697-4808, email@example.com
Rebecca McCall, Vice-Chair
(828) 697-4808, firstname.lastname@example.org
J. Michael Edney, Commissioner
(828) 697-4808, email@example.com
David Hill, Commissioner
(828) 697-4808, firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel Andreotta, Commissioner
(828) 697-4808, email@example.com
Copy and paste the addresses below to send one quick email to all County Commissioners:
EMAIL PLANNING BOARD
Before the County Commission votes on the Comprehensive Plan, the Planning Board will make its recommendation. Please email Planning Board members by sending an email to county Planning Director, Autumn Radcliff, asking her to forward your message. (Autumn's address is below.) As with the Commissioners, always be polite. Planning Board members are smart, decent, hard-working people who care about the county as much as we do:
Steve Dozier, ChairChairman
(828) 697-4819, email via firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Miller, Jr., Vice-Chair
Robert Griffin, Member
Bruce Hatfield, Member
Trey Ford, Member
Jared Ownbey, Member
Rick Livingston, Member
Jennifer Balkcom, Member
Hunter Marks, Member
SAMPLE LANGUAGE FOR EMAILS
Local officials have little respect for canned communications. If they think someone told you what to say, they'll discount it. So even though we offer sample language below, please do everything you can to personalize your email.
Also note, county officials seem to believe, quite sincerely, that their draft Comprehensive Plan will protect our farms, forests, natural areas, etc. They seem largely unaware of the information we provide on our Rural Protection and County Plan pages. So please don't question their integrity or good intentions. Just politely offer your own perspective.
Below is sample language. Feel free to pick and choose. For example, no need to mention all three desired changes to the plan. You could just mention the one that matters most to you.
Thank you for setting an intention to protect the county's rural areas from sprawl development, which threatens not just our farms and forests but also clean air, clean water, and the county's fiscal health. Thank you also for considering a local land fund, which is an essential tool in this effort.
To provide genuine protection for rural areas, you'll need to make three changes to the current draft:
PROTECTION FROM SUBDIVISIONS: Proposed rural densities are too high. Allowing up to one house for every two acres, with greater density for some developments, will destroy rural landscapes that currently have only one house for every 10 to 25 acres. The current draft is an open invitation for subdivisions to replace our farms and forests.
PROTECTION FROM INAPPROPRIATE COMMERCIAL: Our rural areas need strong new restrictions for commercial enterprises. A gun range, a commercial hotel, and a 1,000-unit storage facility recently threatened the beauty and serenity of Saluda, Green River, and Crab Creek, respectively. It's the county's responsibility to make encroachments on rural character illegal. It shouldn't be residents responsibility to defend our communities.
PROTECTION FROM URBAN SERVICES: You'll also need to do a better job preventing the extension of sewer and other services into rural areas, because they instantly attract development. Shrinking the "urban services area" will require cooperation with other players including the City of Hendersonville. Coooperation is always a challenge, but we can't protect rural areas without it.
The county deserves high praise for the forward step it's considering with a land fund. But that alone won't protect our rural areas from sprawl. You'll also need to make the three changes listed above if you want this plan to fulfill your stated goal. Many thanks for considering my comments!
CRAB CREEK LETTER TO THE COUNTY
If you want to include further details on any of the three bullet points above, take a look at our own letter to county officials, sent to staff and Commissioners at the end of October.
PAGE LAST UPDATED 28 OCTOBER 2022.