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Matthew

Asheville "top 10 best place to live"

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Once again, we need to work on our transit system and ridership! Do you think the new four county metro would've changed the rating? Hendersonville does have a mass transit system and I feel it's Asheville's other half. We need to look at streetcars/trolley service now and talk with Greenville and Spartanburg about regional rail based transit! We do need more jobs, but I think our size keeps us off the radar screen of many large companies looking to relocate or open regional offices. I don't understand a low rating in leisure activities? I have to ask, has this writer visited Asheville?

Asheville officials hope area's recognition as great place to live brings jobs, visitors

By Mark Barrett, Staff WriterMarch 30, 2004 10:29 p.m.

Web Extras

Asheville quality of life awards

How Asheville stacks up

ASHEVILLE - We're No. 8.

The Asheville area ranks as the eighth best place to live among 331 U.S. metropolitan areas, says "Cities Ranked & Rated," a book released Tuesday by the publishers of Frommer's travel guides.

The area's strengths include health care, quality of life and education. The economy, cost of living, transportation system and leisure activities scored lower.

The ranking, another in a growing list of similar accolades the area has received in recent years, will help Asheville attract information-based companies and new residents and visitors, predicted officials at the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Charles Worley.

"A lot of relocations of the new economy businesses are based on sense of place - where's a good place to live? - and this recognition will certainly help us sell Asheville to those types of individuals, those types of companies," Worley said.

One of the book's authors helped put together Money magazine's original "Best Places to Live" list, and the book was already receiving national media attention Tuesday.

The rankings are based on data for Buncombe and Madison counties, which made up the Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area until the federal government added Haywood and Henderson counties to the Asheville MSA last year. Many government statistics on the revised list of MSAs are not yet available.

Charlottesville, Va., won the top spot. Asheville ranked just behind Atlanta, the only other Southern city in the top 10.

The Asheville area has been a popular destination for people looking to escape the bustle of Atlanta in recent years.

When Violet Miller left Atlanta to live in Black Mountain in 1985, "They were making big highways and all those kinds of things."

In this area, she said, the pace is slower. "We don't have to run to get anywhere. You can just go where you're going."

But Miller worries that growth may be changing the character of the Asheville area, too.

"If they can find someplace to live up on a mountain, they will come, oh yes," she said.

Contact Barrett at 232-5833 or [email protected]

BEST SPOTS

Top ten metropolitan areas according to "Cities Ranked & Rated"

1. Charlottesville, Va.

2. Santa Fe, N.M.

3. San Luis Obispo, Calif.

4. Santa Barbara, Calif.

5. Honolulu

6. Ann Arbor, Mich.

7. Atlanta

8. Asheville

9. Reno, Nev.

10. Corvallis, Ore.

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Guest donaltopablo

Atlanta is a great city to live in, as long as mass transit and low traffic aren't on your priority list. :lol:

And low crime, liberal (or even moderate in some cases) government... ahh nevermind. Atlanta made another top 10 list. I wanna see the Top 10 cities to make Top 10 lists list.

Good news for Ashville, Santa Fe is probably another great choice I see on the list.

Reno? I wouldn't move there if you gave me 100K a year job. And I love gambling!

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It's my opinion that Asheville should be 6th or 7th, if not a top 5 city on this list. I don't think the author was aware of all the wonderful things to do around here. "Leisure" shouldn't be a weakness for Asheville. It should be a category we would do well in.

This is big news back home. I do feel that our transit system is holding us back on some of these lists. In Asheville it angers some that Atlanta is somehow ahead of Asheville. They also worry that these rankings will bring more people to the area and destroy the area's high quality of life. It's funny that local leaders are excitied about this ranking bringing in more people and businesses and residents are worried that it will bring more people and businesses. :lol::P

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Guest donaltopablo

When I was last in Ashville, DT traffic was awful. I was really surprised. I know there is a lot of life in DT Ashville, but I was still amazed at the level of traffic.

Do they have any transit beyond an existing bus system?

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I don't think it's that bad. There's heavy volume, but it moves. In another 10 years we will have serious problems if steps aren't taken to improve transit and widen our main highways. I've said it once and I will say again, our transit system is a joke and needs serious attention. They are finally starting to build shelters for the bus stops. Until recently, we only had about 10 shelters. This is something most cities did two decades ago! Service is very limited, outside regular business hours. Most buses run from 6am to 7pm. Wear a watch and check the schedule of your bus before you go out! If not, you'll find yourself calling someone or a cab to pick you up! I think there are only two or three buses that run at night and they are weekend only. I can't find a schedule for them, but I know there are two or three that run until 10 or 11pm on the weekend. This is definately a car city and I don't know anyone who rides the buses here. The Apple County Transit buses in Hendersonville have better ridership than Asheville's and they are nicer.

I know some of you feel we have a good system, but I don't. For a city with an Urbanized Area of 221,570, we should have a system that runs all routes until at least 9:30-10:30 pm all week, limited Sunday service and select routes that run past the regular operating hours all week. There should also be a greater push from community leaders for citizens to ride buses. The community needs to plan a regional rail transit system with Greenville and look into streetcars, to connect attractions around the city.

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Hendersonville, NC is even better than Asheville, because Hendersonville being situated at the same 2100-2500 feet above sea level as Asheville and Hendersonville has more flat land and valleys than Asheville and is closer to Charlotte and Spartanburg-Greenville Metro area. Also Hendersonville just feels and looks better than Asheville. If Hendersonville annexes nearby Fletcher, Edneyville, Etowah, Saluda, Flat Rock, Mountain Home and other towns which mainly are situated on knolls and valleys up in the sky then Hendersonville will become a beautiful city of 300,000 to 800,000 residents. In fact there's an idea floating around to rename city of Hendersonville into something more beautiful and attractive and more historically appropriate. So I do believe that Hendersonville along with Ashevile are becoming another Charlotte if not bigger and more beautiful. I have moved to Hendersonville more than 3 years ago and am 40 years old and not moving anywhere else. This is The Best place in the world. Come up here and see all this beauty and all this boom that's going on up here in these two small cities that are projected to grow into a medium to large size city by smart growth over the next 10 years or so.

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Here's one guy who'll be visiting Asheville this weekend! Downtown Asheville is exactly what I was hoping to find when I moved to the Triangle area last summer. Sure Franklin St. in Chapel Hill is cool, but there's nothing like Asheville.

If Santa Fe is so great, how come "Roger" from RENT decides to move back to the Village?

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Hendersonville is nice too. I grew up in Asheville with my parents both working in the medical field in down there so I spent a lot of time down there. It's nice to see some new, larger urban projects happening downtown (Sunflower Residences) but even so, I think Asheville just has more to offer when it comes to entertainment, shopping, night life, and urban character. For example, think of the list of restaurants and venues that have almost nightly live music in DT Asheville, and take a look at Hendersonville.

While surrounding areas in Henderson County actually have a decent industrial/manufacturing base (moreso than Asheville/Buncombe, probably) the city itself is more just a "retirement mecca" as compared to Asheville which appeals a lot to the young hippy (and yuppy) crowd as well.

Also worthy of mention in the WNC mountains is Brevard. Nifty little town. Lots of hippies there too.

Unfortunately, all of these cities seem to be giving in to the creep of sprawl and strip malls/subdivisions/cul-de-sacs at every possible opportunity. This does not bode well for the beautiful valleys and mountaintops that make the area so attractive.

---

I have no idea how Hendersonville could possibly become a city of 300,000, much less 800,000, by annexation short of annexing ALL of western North Carolina plus parts of South Carolina and Tennessee. Henderson county has a population of slightly under 100,000. A city of 30,000? That I could believe, but that's still a decade or so off for H-ville.

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Hendersonville, NC is even better than Asheville, because Hendersonville being situated at the same 2100-2500 feet above sea level as Asheville and Hendersonville has more flat land and valleys than Asheville and is closer to Charlotte and Spartanburg-Greenville Metro area. Also Hendersonville just feels and looks better than Asheville. If Hendersonville annexes nearby Fletcher, Edneyville, Etowah, Saluda, Flat Rock, Mountain Home and other towns which mainly are situated on knolls and valleys up in the sky then Hendersonville will become a beautiful city of 300,000 to 800,000 residents. In fact there's an idea floating around to rename city of Hendersonville into something more beautiful and attractive and more historically appropriate. So I do believe that Hendersonville along with Ashevile are becoming another Charlotte if not bigger and more beautiful. I have moved to Hendersonville more than 3 years ago and am 40 years old and not moving anywhere else. This is The Best place in the world. Come up here and see all this beauty and all this boom that's going on up here in these two small cities that are projected to grow into a medium to large size city by smart growth over the next 10 years or so.

That's shameless and baseless boosterism.

Also, there is not an idea floating around to rename the city or county. I've heard your idea of renaming them "enigma" on more than one occasion and that's quite frankly ludicrous.

I would also disagree that Hendersonville is the best place in the world. It's merely the uglier and more boring half of Asheville-Hendersonville. It's a dumpy suburb. The downtown it's so monstrously proud of consists of a mere five blocks of a single street. And last but not least, the entire area is a granny ghetto. Hendersonville has become little more than a place for retirees who got sick of Florida to play golf for a few years before they die and their bodies are shipped back home to Rochester for burial. You want another name for Hendersonville? How about the "City of Widows"?

And you know what? The people of Hendersonville could not be happier about all that. This town sold its stinking black soul to developers decades ago and the avalanche of destruction they initiated is too far along now to be stopped. Hendersonville is destined to be nothing more than a vast glob of suburban sprawl linking Greenville and Asheville. That's okay though because as I mentioned, the people here could not be happier. They're thrilled.

And so are the developers, who will build and build and build and build and pave and pave and pave and pave until there is nothing left to destroy. Then, like the locusts they are, they'll simply fly off to destroy another place -- to pick it clean of anything it ever had to recommend it.

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You didn't have to bash the town like that. I agree he went a little too overboard with the "greatest place to live," but bashing a whole town is unessary. Lets try to be freindly on the boards.

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Hendersonville, NC is even better than Asheville, because Hendersonville being situated at the same 2100-2500 feet above sea level as Asheville and Hendersonville has more flat land and valleys than Asheville and is closer to Charlotte and Spartanburg-Greenville Metro area. Also Hendersonville just feels and looks better than Asheville. If Hendersonville annexes nearby Fletcher, Edneyville, Etowah, Saluda, Flat Rock, Mountain Home and other towns which mainly are situated on knolls and valleys up in the sky then Hendersonville will become a beautiful city of 300,000 to 800,000 residents. In fact there's an idea floating around to rename city of Hendersonville into something more beautiful and attractive and more historically appropriate. So I do believe that Hendersonville along with Ashevile are becoming another Charlotte if not bigger and more beautiful. I have moved to Hendersonville more than 3 years ago and am 40 years old and not moving anywhere else. This is The Best place in the world. Come up here and see all this beauty and all this boom that's going on up here in these two small cities that are projected to grow into a medium to large size city by smart growth over the next 10 years or so.

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