Cullowhee planning will help community

To the Editor:

As a retort to the concerned citizen who wrote a letter to the editor about the intent of the Cullowhee planning committee to supposedly steal the property rights and money of the people of Cullowhee, I would like to inform you that there is no such conspiracy. In fact, it was not the county planner who suddenly decided to start a planning effort within Cullowhee; it was a coalition of property owners who decided they had enough of having the views from their houses destroyed by yet another apartment complex. 

They were tired of the lack of community and cohesiveness in Cullowhee and having a downtrodden “downtown” on Old Cullowhee Road. They were tired of not being able to walk or bike along the back roads around Cullowhee without the threat of being hit by a car due to lack of sidewalks, something which has already happened several times on Ledbetter Road. These are the things that the  Cullowhee planning effort is meant to address. It is to benefit the property owners and residents of Cullowhee instead of the wealthy developers that would build where ever they wish and decimate the property values of adjacent home owners. 

As of now, without any zoning in the Cullowhee area, it would be completely possible for, say, an asphalt plant to be plopped down right next to your home.

And finally, you say that we have some of the most stringent county ordinances and regulations in the state? Obviously you have never been to Raleigh, Chapel Hill or Charlotte and their surrounding areas. There you couldn’t find a smidgeon of wiggle room for developing your property or doing what you wished with it. 

In contrast, our county, similar to most other mountain counties in North Carolina, has some of the least stringent standards and fewest zoning laws in the state. And it is this lack of standards and ordinances that has led to uncontrollable and damaging (environmentally, socially, and economically) growth in rural areas like Cullowhee. 

So please, instead of spurting knocked up conspiracy theories designed to inspire fear in the citizens of Jackson County, think about how the Cullowhee planning effort might actually benefit you and the community.

Anja Nothdurft


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