Parkside: Almost Time To Retire This Category


For over a year and a half we have watched the terrible tale of Parkside.  Today it appears the condominium side of the story has come to an end.  If the court rules in favor of the Pack family, then the land will revert to the public, and this story will finally be over.  We’ll all have a toast in Mr. Coleman’s Tavern to public lands and local brews.


A letter dated Thursday from an official with S.B. Coleman Construction Co. asks the city to withdraw the company’s application to put a nine-story, mixed-use building on a site just west of City Hall so that plans for a restaurant and bar on part of the property can proceed.

Categories : Local, Parkside


  1. barry says:

    Absent his appeal being rejected, there’s still nothing stopping Mr. Coleman from simply waiting for a new Council and a reviving economy to re-submit his plans. He still has – how much? $3 – 4 million invested in this, & he’s content to try to recoup that one beer at a time? I don’t buy it. Investing a hundred thou or so in this tavern really only amounts to him killing time until the appeal comes back. If he wants us to trust that he has given up on Parkside, why is he still fighting the lawsuit? Why hasn’t he given the stolen park land back to us?

    This zombie could rise from the grave again, unless we elect candidates committed to preserving our public spaces, not privatizing them. With at least one ‘progressive’ candidate openly saying she would be willing to sell our parkland off for condos, I’m not comfortable at all. I’ll celebrate when the land is officially turned back over to the public, there is a permanent covenant protecting this from happening again, and not before.

  2. barry says:

    From the AC-T article:

    “The condo plan was originally approved by city staff and, Tuch said, would almost surely be approved again under current rules should the plan be resubmitted and the tavern plan dropped.”

    I’m just sayin’…

  3. Bryan Freeborn says:

    We need council to change the standards manual that the TRC uses to evaluate projects. Until that document is changed we are going to be chasing our tails as a community. Then comes the UDO.

  4. barry says:

    Bryan – maybe you know this. Is it true that Esther Manheimer wants to remove Council review on all developments, even the ones above 100,000 sq. ft? This would leave all approvals to the staff, which would guarantee Parkside a smooth ride if/when Stewart re-submits it…

  5. Bryan Freeborn says:

    Berry…It is my understanding that Esther wants to fix a broken system that is ripe for manipulation, even with Council having final approval. As it stands now even if staff says no to a project, the applicant can go before council and get approval by Council. I have rarely seen council say no to a project, even with vocal and broad community disapproval.

    From Esther’s Website: “With regard to development, I favor a system where, with the input of our citizens, the City codifies all the development standards we want and need to preserve Asheville. These standards could include requirements regarding: height restrictions, green building standards, percentage of affordable housing in any project, impact fees that go to support sidewalks, greenways, etc., and other standards that we think are vital to preserving the Asheville we know and love. Currently, these standards do not exist in the City’s ordinances. Right now, projects over a certain size, go before council without being subject to specific standards. Council must decide the fate of the project based on a standard that is more or less as follows: “Is this project good for the City?” This question is obviously answered differently by different people. Developers try to sell their project by adding components that they hope are attractive to council, such as affordable housing. However, there are not specific requirements for affordable housing, height limitations, and other elements of the project. I am proposing that the citizens decide now, through a public process, what those standards should be and then put those standards into law. Developers who can meet these standards can do their project. Under this system, citizens would maintain the right to appeal if they felt the standards were not being enforced or met. This process allows everyone to have a clear understanding of the strict development guidelines and everyone will understand what they can expect from the process. With strict development standards built into the zoning ordinances, citizens can be assured that future councils cannot stray from the rules we adopt today.” http://www.esther4asheville.com/

  6. barry says:


    I would have to see more specifics of the changes she recommends. I would be more comfortable if these changes weren’t being suggested by someone who works for developers, has said she would favor selling park land for condominiums, and is supported by Albert Sneed and Lou Bissette. Maybe I have her all wrong, but that seems like a poor pedigree on development issues from where I sit.

  7. Bryan Freeborn says:

    Barry…I think you do have her all wrong. You should give her a call to ask her details. I think that her donor base is comprised of people that work with her and feel that she is the their best bet for someone on council they can communicate with, not necessarily someone they agree with. I also think that there is a group of political donors in AVL that spread their money around to folks they think have the best chance of winning. A prime example is Morrisani, who has given to Brownie, Smith, and Manheimer.

    Based on the conversations I have had with people on both sides of this issue they are all wanting the same thing. A clear process with clear standards. If we put all our eggs in the basket of council we loose.

    She has by far the widest spectrum of support. She also has the highest level of credentials of anyone running or currently on council. She is smarter than the city’s legal department. This is very important if we want to actually implement the progressive land use policies that have been put on the table over the years. We need people on council that know policy, law, and budgets.

    Then there is this choice. Bothwell, Smith, Manheimer or Bothwell, Smith, Mumpower. There are other ways this could go as well. Robin Cape can not possibly get enough people to write her name in to win a seat on council. 500 people possibly, 1000 people tough, 5000 people I seriously doubt it. I could be wrong, but I don;t think so in this case. As far as I see it, any vote cast for Robin is a vote for Mumpower. Depending on who comes out to vote and who stays home will determine who Mumpower edges out do to the Robin factor.