Hendersonville Lightning: Cabin Creek Road homeowners organize to oppose commercial zoning

Cabin Creek Road residents who oppose the rezoning are holding a meeting at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, at Camp Glen Arden.

From the Lightning:

Cabin Creek Road homeowners are organizing to oppose a proposed commercial development that they say would scar “one of the most beautiful, undeveloped and unspoiled parts of Henderson County.”

Property owners Daniel Park and Lark Park Elliot are asking the county to rezone a 48-acre vacant site from from Residential Two Rural to Community Commercial in order to build a 20-room inn surrounded by walking trails and other amenities. Last Sept. 20 Park bought a 43-acre parcel for $500,000 and Elliott bought a 3.2-acre parcel for $75,000 and a 1.8-acre parcel for $40,000, land records show.

Architect Hunter Marks of Watermark Landscape Architects acknowledged that the land is not suitable for a large intense commercial development and said that the inn is the owners’ only plan for the property.

“They realize the only way to do that would be to rezone this property,” he told the Technical Review Committee during the first public airing of the rezoning application on Tuesday. “No other intention for this property. We realize the lack of utilities would restrict what can be done regardless. We realize this is a special piece of property where Joe’s Creek and Cabin Creek come together and the applicant is considering a conservation agreement for the property. We don’t have a plan. It’s just a concept right now.”

The Technical Review Committee waived its customary rule of not permitting public comment and agreed to hear from neighbors.

Adjoining homeowners Marcie and Ben Dowling were among 21 people who showed up at the meeting of the advisory committee, which is made up of officials from the NCDOT, the county planning, public health, permitting and engineering departments, fire marshal and a city utilities engineer.

“We have sent last six years negotiating to just preserve” their 12 acres of land surrounding their home, Ben Dowling said. “We are investing in Green River because it offers a country way of life, with rural values, not land values. In Mills River, they are spending twice the amount to live in each other’s back yard.”

A native and lifelong resident of Henderson County, Amy Beddingfield McCraw and her husband, Cory, also live on land that abuts the 48-acre site that could be rezoned.

“Our son will inherit the property from me and will be the fourth generation to live on the property,” she said. “I don’t know how familiar you are with Cabin Creek Road but it is one of the most beautiful, undeveloped and unspoiled parts of Henderson County. I truly love our land. So I was both shocked and heartbroken to learn that a developer had purchased the property and has asked the county to rezone nearly 50 acres for commercial development.”

Commercial development could ruin the property, cause runoff that would endanger trout and “change the nature of the entire Cabin Creek Road, Green River and Tuxedo community,” she said. “Cabin Creek Road is a steep, winding, narrow two-lane road. A commercial development on this road will cause an unmanageable increase in vehicle and bicycle traffic and make local residents face unreasonable challenges as they drive to their work, their homes and to church.”

Commercial zoning, she said, would create a dangerous precedent, potentially triggering other commercial uses to serve hotel guests.

“How is the county going to say no to a restaurant if it has already approved a hotel?” she said. . .

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