Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Save Our Slopes Rally Saturday May 3

Friends, if you're concerned about poor development practices, lack of enforcement of environmental regulations, and the clear-cutting of mountains to make way for McMansions, then please come march with other concerned citizens this Saturday May 3 in downtown Asheville. State representative Ray Rapp will be on hand to speak about his proposed steep slope safety legislation. Let's show our support!

Click on poster below to see just one of the many examples of why we're marching:


April 25, 2007

CONTACT: Elaine Lite, 273-1781

info@mvalliance.net www.mvalliance.net

Mountain Voices Alliance to host a “Save Our Slopes” rally

ASHEVILLE -- Mountain Voices Alliance (MVA) will host a march and rally to gain support for a pause in building large scale developments to give us time to plan what we want Western North Carolina to look like when our grandchildren grow up. The event will take place on Saturday May 3 from 2-4 p.m. in downtown Asheville. The group will meet at Pritchard Park and march to City/County Plaza to hear speakers and music.

“Last year, Jackson County Commissioners adopted a temporary building moratorium to give their planning department time to write stronger ordinances to protect their community from poorly planned developments,” said MVA Chairwoman Elaine Lite. “It’s simply a pause to plan – a temporary, legal tool to get a grip on unbridled growth. It’s not the final solution, but it’s a start on creating a regional long-term growth and land-use plan.”

Local governments around the state have increasingly turned to building moratoria as a planning tool in the face of rapid, unplanned growth. “We’re growing without any kind of regional plan,” said Lite. “Our infrastructure, social services, and natural resources cannot sustain the pressure. This pause to plan will help us save our slopes and mountain culture from further devastation.”

MVA is also asking for a short halt on level II and level III (large) projects in the city of Asheville until the Downtown Master Plan is finished. The group also urges Buncombe County Commissioners to enact a temporary building moratorium on large-scale subdivisions and to commission a panel of scientists to complete a survey of water availability in the county. In addition, this would give the planning department time to write policy using that data.

“It only makes sense to stop clear cutting the trees and grading the mountains until the N.C. Geological Survey completes their landslide mapping of the county, after which, public policy must be adjusted to protect residents from future landslides,” said Lite.

Speakers at the May 3 rally include Rep. Ray Rapp of Madison County who sponsored the North Carolina Steep Slope Construction Act (NC House Bill 175); William Shelton, one of the Jackson County commissioners who championed the temporary building moratorium in that county; and Garland Galloway of Laurel Valley Watch (LVW) in Madison County. The event will also feature an old-time music jam, so bring your instruments and clogging shoes.

Mountain Voices Alliance (www.mvalliance.net) works to preserve and protect the environment, including the natural beauty, abundant resources, quality of life and cultural heritage of our communities. This all-volunteer group actively opposed the Progress Energy oil plant in Woodfin last year and helped raise awareness of policies to protect the area from overdevelopment, especially the dangers of steep-slope building.

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