Friday, December 11, 2009

Blue Ridge Parkway Part 3

In previous blogs I have talked about the Blue Ridge Parkway's history, construction & the people and communities that fought so hard for it. This is likely the most important and final piece (for right now anyway) on the parkway.

When asked about the allure of our beloved parkway and what draws them to it most folks say it is the long range views;85-95% of those polled in fact. The nature hikers, bikers and runners of this great region can access these vistas as they glide over hill and dale in a very up close and personal way- but far more folks enjoy the beauty of these mountains on overlooks and in their car as they meander the roads of the parkway.

There is a potential peril in our midst now. Asheville has truly come into its own. People are coming out of the woodwork to move here for the climate, the unparalleled vistas and in general, our quality of life. This has brought with it a previously unseen increase in home construction to Western North Carolina in the last decade.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is atypical in that it stretches for 469 miles through two states but it's average width is but 800 feet. When folks stop on an overlook or view property from the comfort of their car, most of the land they see is owned by someone else.

The thrust to protect that asset is trying to build support for a state measure that would provide 75 million dollars to protect land along the road.
Educational material is being provided to developers of these land areas in an effort to inform them and capitalize our efforts to keep this area scenic. No one is against development and in these hard economic times everyone understands the need for it and the jobs and opportunities it brings but anything other than considered, smart development will result in killing the golden goose. I hope we are mindful of that as we continue the ongoing debate on how to best serve the needs of our region.


Patti and Gary Wiles
Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls

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