To the Editor:
Cullowhee is the fastest growing community in Jackson County. After several years of effort and well-attended community meetings sponsored by CuRvE (Cullowhee Revitalization Endeavor), the Jackson County Commissioners wisely established the Cullowhee Community Planning Advisory Council. Mike Clark, whose letters appeared in the Sylva Herald and The Smoky Mountain News last week, is a member of the Council.
On Nov. 5, the Council, along with the County Planning Department, sponsored a meeting for the community to participate in developing a vision for Cullowhee. This meeting was widely advertised, open to the public and well-attended. Once again, the community showed its support for planning to help Cullowhee reach its potential to become a beautiful town that takes advantage of its surrounding natural resources.
As Mr. Clark says in his letter, historically, the community has been opposed to zoning. But today is not yesterday. We need to move beyond past history and help Cullowhee become a livable town where residents, businesses and the university co-exist in what could be the most beautiful town in the state. Just imagine the Old Cullowhee Road business district with a river park, a greenway, a new bridge with bike paths, sidewalks and street lamps guiding pedestrians from the campus to the downtown. Just imagine student apartments and well-maintained mobile home parks with good roads and safe access for emergency vehicles. Just imagine residential areas with homes that are not devalued by unbridled development.
I agree with Mr. Clark that we should contact our county commissioners. The best thing property owners and residents can do right now is to let them know we have had enough of unbridled development, and the time has long since passed for smart growth and planning. You can find contact information for all the county commissioners at this link: www.jacksonnc.org/county-commisioners.html For information on the Planning Council: www.sites.google-.com/a/jacksonnc.org/cullowhee-community-planning-advisory-committee/home
Mary Jean Herzog