We hear complaints about the proliferation of hotels downtown. We hear complaints about sprawl. But nobody is complaining about Buncombe County’s takeover of downtown. Back when I moved to town, and for several years afterward, the only county offices of which I had any awareness were the courthouse and the little annex behind it. At one time, the jail was even included in the courthouse, but I came after that.

In recent years, the county built a spiffy building across the street from the courthouse, with a nice parking garage, and then it started taking over a bank building. The jail expanded explosively, and the county took over a building on Coxe Avenue. The courthouse took on a massive expansion, and election services had to move down by Planned Parenthood. The tax office had moved into the first big building across the street from the courthouse, but today the county announced it will be moving to another adaptive reuse on Coxe Avenue. At least this move harmonizes with city objectives in that there is insufficient parking:

With their move, they will not have as much parking and are asking customers to call for assistance before making the drive into town.

“Hello? . . . Is this the tax office? . . . Yes. Could you round up a homeless guy to orbit my car around the block today from 12:15 until you finish processing me? . . . You’ve got plenty of them. . . . And you’ll have more after you pay for the next expansion. Great. Great.”