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Tell Incumbent Henderson County Commissioners NO to the current Comp Plan. And vote out our incumbent commissioners who would rather sell our county than protect it.

Updated: Apr 24

Attend the Commissioners' Meeting 1 Historic Courthouse Sq. Suite 1 Hendersonville, NC 28792, Wednesday, February 21, 2024 @9:30AM. Sign up to speak. Come to support. It's your county. You need to save it!

Paid for by Asheville Tea PAC and not by any candidate or candidates’ committee.

If I owned a GPS that could give driving directions and advise me on what direction the county was moving in, it would be squawking right now in a loud digital voice: “Make a U-Turn, The Road You’re On Is Closed!”

Despite what our incumbent commissioners running for reelection say, Commissioners Andreotta and Hill, the last few years have not been a picnic for most residents of Henderson County. In many ways, our rural communities have been under attack from inappropriate development that threatens their way of life and their area’s natural heritage.

Crab Creek and East Flat Rock won stellar victories to prevent a major storage facility and asphalt plant from destroying their communities. But how many communities can afford to come up with tens of thousands of dollars to defend their neighborhoods? And even in winning, they are in no better position to fight the next one when another misguided developer comes knocking on their doors. Or yours. Ditto for Etowah and their battle to maintain the sanctity of their community against a major development, the Macedonia community that fended off a shooting range, and Edneyville that might see their rural character wiped off the map if a major sewer system is built which, like flies to honey, will bring a swarm of developers turning farmland into asphalt land.

There is a better way, but not much time to get there before it's clear we’re at the end of the road.  We have the opportunity to take the driver’s seat by doing two simple things. The first is vote the commissioners out who have stood against land conservation and vote in more conservation-minded people, like Jay Egolf and Sheila Franklin. The second: Let your voice be heard by attending (and/or writing) commissioners at the upcoming public hearing on the Comprehensive Plan proposal and tell them Just Say No!

I dusted off my old copy of the 2020 Comp Plan, the one the county is currently supposed to be following. In a citizen’s survey taken in 2004 over 65% of us said 1) agriculture and open space should be protected, 2) growth should be directed away from floodplains, 3) large commercial development should be located where sewer and water services are present and be environmentally responsible. In the recent citizen’s survey for the 2045 Comp Plan, an overwhelming majority said protecting open spaces and forests, preserving farmland, and conserving unique natural areas was their most important priority. (Notice the pattern here?) 

Why is the Comp Plan important? Every land-use decision the Planning Board and Board of Commissioners make are supposed to be based on the guidance of the Comp Plan. If it provides few protections that we, the people, have declared in countless surveys, public hearings and forums, then the will of the development community, not the will of the people, will ultimately triumph.

So, what are our concerns? The current plan would expand the Utility Service Area into rural communities, which would rapidly accelerate the loss of farmland and foster massive development, turning what’s left of rural communities into suburban sprawl. Its failure to address protecting floodplains and creating limits on building on steep slopes would endanger everyone living or working down slope or near floodplains, as we’ve seen in recent volatile rainstorms. 

Previous Commissioners responded to citizens concerns by creating a 2020 Comp Plan that emphasized growth should be focused where existing utilities are located. In other words, building a new sewer in Edneyville, encouraging inappropriate development in Etowah and more would be discouraged. The current Comp Plan proposal provides no such guidance, meaning that every neighborhood is forced to “lawyer up” because they can’t count on the county to respect their rural character. The 2020 Comp Plan also discouraged building on steep slopes, building in floodplains, and keeping the Urban Services Area out of rural areas. These were eliminated in the 2045 proposal.

Clearly the 2045 Comp Plan proposal takes a giant step backwards. We have no choice but to tell our commissioners in no uncertain terms a resounding NO. Do not pass this poorly developed plan. Give a newly elected Board of Commissioners a chance to conform the plan to the people’s will. Keep out of our floodplains, steep slopes and rural communities. Sprawl turns precious farmland into development land, forestland into dollar store havens and threatens water quality and costs taxpayers dearly. The 2045 Comp Plan proposal is a recipe for just this.

Your choice is simple. Re-take the steering wheel and attend the Feb. 21 Comp Plan public hearing at the Historic Courthouse at 9:30 a.m. and tell the commissioners NO to the current Comp Plan. And vote out our incumbent commissioners who would rather sell our county than protect it. To write commissioners or find out if they postponed the public hearing, visit

David Weintraub is a cultural preservationist who can be reached at or 828-692-8062.

Vote Jay Egolf and Shelia Franklin to turn this around.


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