Stephen Schulte* wrote an insightful letter to the Mountain Xpress. Although he1 is opposing a particular development, and I don’t necessarily share all his viewpoints, he calls attention to the fatal conceit of urban planners. He quotes from a paper published by the Thoreau2 Institute.

In order to achieve those goals, “smart growth” governments nationwide are implementing a degree of land-use regulation that is unprecedented in the United States prior to 1990. Unfortunately, as we will see from the experiences of the Portland, Ore., area, such regulation can produce an even worse quality of life for residents. The policies’ real effects appear to be increases in traffic congestion, air pollution, consumer costs, taxes and just about every other impediment to urban livability.

As you will recall, the Smart Growth policies for development in the same part of Asheville were so perfect and enlightened, former Planning Director Judy Daniel had to slip amendments into the UDO one step ahead of the developers’ public hearings.

1I do not know this person, so I do not know if it is a he that identifies as a he, a he that identifies as a she, a he that identifies as a neuter, a he that identifies as a trans, a she that . . . . . . So kindly accept my unethical use of the terms “he,” “his,” etc.

2My spell checker keeps changing this to “Thorough,” so I looked it up. It appears Thorough was a hermit, and so I am assuming the institute studies bloodborne pathogens and low-vacuum seals. OK, bloodborne isn’t a word, either.