Monday, December 12, 2005

Huw Raphael Opines on Chicken Hill

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usIf you're not reading it, you oughta be. SARX, Huw Raphael's decidedly divine blog, is updated frequently and thoughtfully. Here's the beginning of another considered post:

"CHICKEN HILL is a Co-operative Housing Project being built here in Asheville. It was good to find such a project being built inside the city limits, as well as "inside the city": anyone familiar with Asheville Geography will understand that East of the French Broad River and West of Town Mountain is more "in the city" than Oteen or Biltmore or even West Asheville. Our "down town" is all on the side and top of a bluff overlooking the river. Anything off that bluff may well be in town, but it's not really "inside" - especially for pedestrians.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usAnyway, so there is Chicken Hill - a Mill Town. Here's a page on the history of the community. Mill Towns are common in the South: a Mill would buy up surrounding land and build small houses. These houses would be sold to the workers, including the management and sometimes the owners - the mortgage payments coming out of their pay. A company store would be set up, and land donated for churches. A community would be built out of shared land, time and work."

Go read the rest.


Huw Raphael said...

Thanks for the link... *Affordable* Community housing - and more importantly the people that would be living is such - is an important issue for me

But, eeek. I wish you'd picked something more, um... coherent :-)

Screwy Hoolie said...

Your perspective combines conservative political values with compassionate spiritual values. I am almost always impressed with the consistent way you approach social problems.

We disagree on many of the political points, but we normally find a moral agreement on the underlying needs. Thanks for blogging up a storm.

ash said...

Since we're in the midst of the politically correct season, the Chicken Hill neighborhood, which city leaders a few years ago deemed deragatory slang for the former working-class mill town, is now more offficially known as the "West End-Clingman" neighborhood. Or so the wooden sign on Clingman states.

Huw Raphael said...

heheheheheheeheh. Ash - Rich People get a better name, too, huh?

Screwy: thanks. After 40+ years of working on it, I hope I've managed to present something consistent :-) I also hope I've got a few curve balls left!

Huw Raphael said...

PS: Screwy - I read your words to mean we agree on the what, just not the how. That is the beginning of any good community consensus, I think.

waz said...

I think the developer is doing a good job of it. They seem to have put some thought into it, and as a tradesman they're doing some good work over there.

Its gotta be better than some cookie cutter ugly looking places I guess.....

Huw Raphael said...

Waz - the issue ain't that they are doing a bad job: in fact, it was their reputation that caused me to "tune in". But parties who can afford houses that start at $225K don't need housing communities... and it seems ironic that they are building it on the ruins of one of the most active "lower/middle income communities" Asheville had.

A second irony is that they are replacing the real community that was there, created by shared work, common history and community worship, with a hot tub. And they're using this as a marketing ploy.

1000 black lines said...

Huw - the same thing is going on in South Asheville. People who have lived in my 'hood for years are moving to Arden or elsewhere because someone had the idea of developing a condo community. The condos start in the $150s. That's almost double the price of most property on/around Shiloh.

Now the new city council desires to extend transit service to Black Mountain. Thanks! Why not just give me a voucher to relocate to Black Mountain so I can work in Asheville? Has Asheville annexed Black Mountain yet? How does this logically make sense for Asheville?

The new city coucil wants to take $100K and spend it on walk ways when they should put it into paying bus drivers a decent wage and then extend the bus service hours to accommodate those Asheville workers who need to work later than 6/7PM.

Note: rant brought to you by a Dem. living a Bellamy country.

(damn, I really need to switch to decaf)

waz said...

Huw - I say high density is good. I would rather see four places crammed in there with families than one ugly McMansion. I agree with you guys, it sucks watching unlikely places getting gobbled up by big bucks.

I was humored by the developer using the sell - beautiful view of future park. Maybe they should include beautiful view of future highway widening project.

Screwy Hoolie said...

Too right, waz.

The I-26 connector will means years of construction leading up to living aside a busy freeway.

Huw Raphael said...

Totally off topic, but have they picked a route for I26 yet? Last I heard was a proposed bridge in the north part of town, slicing across, into and through west Asheville.