Cullowhee is the fastest growing area of Jackson County. The growth owes much to Western Carolina University and is evidenced in recent years by a surge in private student housing complexes and smattering of bars.
Without regulations in place, Cullowhee’s growth has taken place in a Wild West, cowboy environment. For more than a year, the Cullowhee Community Planning Advisory Committee has contemplated how to guide such growth.
The latest development to throw down a stake in Cullowhee intends to build a 488-bed student housing complex on a two-lane stretch of road across from the community garden and near the Tuckasegee River.
It’s a place where students can “thrive” while enjoying “a much more robust amenity package.”
A group of vacant, ramshackle buildings at an anchor intersection on South Main Street in Waynesville has been purchased, signaling continued revitalization could be in store for the rag-tag corridor.
Randy Best was a rare bird in the development heyday of the 2000s. Where others just saw dollar signs, Best actually saw land.
“I would spend a month walking a piece of property after we bought it. I walked every inch and when I was done, I knew where every house site was going to be, where every septic was going to be, how the roads would lay,” said Best, a Haywood County native.
Cullowhee is awash in new developments. Specifically, the community is buzzing with the construction of high-density developments aimed at housing Western Carolina University’s growing student population.
Who shows up and speaks out at a steep slope public hearing in Jackson County next week could alter what mountainside development looks like for decades to come.
David Brooks grew up dirt poor. His dad farmed corn, apples and tobacco, always with a plow and mule, never with a tractor. Brooks’ mom and five siblings were often left to tend to the 100-acre hillside farm in Jackson County when his dad journeyed in search of cash-paying jobs — taking him as far as Washington state during summers to work as a logger.
“I guess it was poverty, but we didn’t know it at the time,” Brooks said.
When Heidi Dunkelberg first entered the town of Canton, she couldn’t imagine ever living there.
A new campus Master Plan endorsed Friday (Dec. 6) by the Western Carolina University Board of Trustees is designed to closely link physical facilities of the university, including future construction and renovation, to goals of its recently approved strategic plan.
Waynesville leaders haven’t decided whether they will back a plan to reconfigure the intersection of North Main and Walnut streets, but at least one resident thinks it would harm businesses.