Less than two weeks after a handful of residents offered their disapproval of a proposed luxury outdoor hotel in the Alexander, N.C., community during public comments at a Madison County commissioner’s meeting, the developers pulled out of its plans to build along the property, according to the Citizen-Times.
The developer, based out of Greenville, S.C., planned to use 55 acres along Grandview Road to construct a glamour camping, or “glamping” facility that included a 3,000-square-foot clubhouse and 57 tent sites, each 14-by-30 and complete with individual sewer services.
The developer, only identified as “CG Manager” in the zoning plans, applied for a special use permit to build on the property, which is zoned for residential-agricultural (RA) use.
For Grandview residents, the news of the developer’s decision to no longer pursue building on the land comes after months of coordination to voice their objections to the proposed plans.
Amanda and Josh Grode said they moved to Grandview Road from Syracuse, N.Y., to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
“We know that everybody (in our community) has our backs,” Amanda Grode, a Grandview Road resident, said April 20, three days before the developer decided against building on the property. “The reason we came out here is the safety, space and privacy. I just don’t see how that’s going to happen (if this facility is built.)”
Amanda Grode cited concerns about the increased traffic the facility would draw as well.
“It’s all private property,” Grode said. “It’s not safe to just take a walk on the street. People would be taking their vehicles in and out. If somebody comes driving back from their day on the South Slope (in Asheville) and they’re driving drunk, whose responsibility is it to ensure that, first of all, my property doesn’t get damaged, but also that these people don’t get hurt?”
All along the Alexander community, signs reading “save Grandview” and “no campground” lined the land’s adjacent properties.
On March 10, the developer company held an in-person meet and greet, followed by a March 11 Zoom call to discuss the project with the neighbors, according to Whit Oliver, the company’s president and partner.
Oliver said he made the decision to pull out of the project during the week of April 18-24 due to the reaction from nearby residents.
“We were pretty shocked at the level of hostility from the surrounding community,” Oliver said. “Unfortunately, our project was sold to the community by a small group of neighbors as something that it wasn’t.”
In a cellphone video of the March 10 meet and greet obtained by The News-Record & Sentinel, the minute-long recording shows two residents lashing out at the developer team.
“You’re going to make the biggest (expletive) mistake you made in your 44 years,” one resident said to Oliver in the video.
Oliver felt the community could have financially benefited from the project.
“Our project is a high-end, luxury ‘glamping’ operation that would have attracted folks to Madison County with significant disposable income to spend in the area with local businesses,” Oliver said. “It would have created a real economic impact.”