FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JULY 1, 2015
Coggins Conservation Project
It’s been confirmed that the sale of the 169 acre Coggins Farm property has officially closed by developer, David Case of Case Enterprises on Monday, June 22nd. Case Enterprises received approval this February from the Buncombe County Planning Board to develop a private 99-lot subdivision on the property. Originally naming the subdivision, “Coggins Farm – Asheville Mountain Community”, the development has now been renamed “Sovereign Oaks – Asheville Mountain Community”.
Phase 1 of the Sovereign Oaks subdivision on Coggins Farm is now in process, which is development of about 40 private lots on 1/3 of the property. There are additional proposed phases of development that bring the total amount of private lots to 99.
It’s a disappointment that Coggins Farm is being developed in a way that isn’t in the spirit of the original development concept for the property. We had hoped to maintain the property primarily as a place for agriculture and as a public resource, but we would like to keep the communication lines open and explore the possibility of continuing those ideas. We are incredibly grateful for the support and for the hundreds of individuals and businesses that stepped up to share their voice in this matter and sign our Endorsement Letter, as well as submit personalized letters.
Through the Coggins Conservation Project website and our growing support system, we remain committed to being a resource and information center for farmland and open space in WNC that’s transitioning hands and in need of protection efforts. We are also excited to explore the concept of New Ruralism and how incorporating it into existing land sites can benefit our community and the surrounding Asheville area as it continues to grow in population.
The Coggins Conservation Project hopes to work with developers, land owners, and retiring farmers in identifying viable business plans, programming, and financial structures for available land and continue to promote New Ruralism in Western North Carolina. we find it to be very aligned with our project’s long-term goals. The written piece titled “A Call for New Ruralism” by Sibella Kraus offers more insight on the concept.
“New Ruralism is a framework for creating a bridge between Sustainable Agriculture and New Urbanism. Sustainable agriculture can help bring cities down to earth, to a deeper commitment to the ecology and economy of the surrounding countryside on which they depend. New Ruralism embraces the power of place-making that can help American agriculture move from an artificially narrow production focus to encompass broader resource preservation values.”
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support throughout the year as we explored and identified ways that Coggins Farm could continue to sustain and enrich the lives of our community and local food systems. As we continue to see landowners and farmers reaching retirement age and in need of transitioning ownership of their land, it’s imperative that we come together to identify and offer viable routes that continue to preserve the fertile agriculture production, natural habitats, heritage, and rural nature of this region.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – APRIL 28, 2015
Coggins Conservation Project
95 Old Coggins Road
Asheville, NC 28805
Alternative Conservation Plan for Coggins Farm Unveiled
Asheville, NC April 28, 2015: Coggins Conservation Project (CCP) announces its new ruralism business model as an alternate exit strategy for retiring farmers. The CCP is attempting to assume the current developer’s contract on the Coggins Farm™ property in East Asheville and aims to establish a center for sustainable agriculture and farmland preservation. Currently in the region, career farmers have had few retirement options. In the past 10 years, open land and farms in Western NC have given way to suburban sprawl. As a result, an increasing number of rural communities on the edges of cities have lost their biodiverse habitats and land used for local food production. The co-founders of CCP have developed a business model to incorporate some suburban-rural population growth while maintaining necessary space for sustainable agriculture and conservation of natural habitat. The goal is to establish a model site on Coggins Farm™ just outside of Asheville, NC and then aid other communities throughout Southern Appalachia and beyond.
“Conserving open space in perpetuity has been a driving mission for the CCP,” says Nesta Kennedy, co-founder. “The project was born from our desire to preserve one of the last large pieces of open farmland on the outskirts of the city. As we’ve seen support rally around this concept, it’s grown into something more: we want Asheville to be a mecca for new, sustainable ways of living. What better way than to create a solid, thriving model for alternative growth in our rural communities?”
The CCP new ruralism model aims to recognize the needs of the individual farmer while maintaining dynamic agri-diversity in the region and support for active farms that contribute to the growth of the economy.
As Ron Ainspan, owner of Mountain Food Products, puts it, “Our region has been instrumental in developing and nurturing local food chains. We see the conservation initiative for the Coggins property as further inspiration for that effort. At the same time, we live in an area experiencing population growth. An approach which integrates a small residential component accommodates the population demand while not crowding out the agricultural contribution or the rural character”.
Coggins Conservation Project will provide a formal presentation of its business model to the community at large on May 7, 2015, 7pm at 67 Biltmore Avenue (previously Laurey’s) in downtown Asheville. This event is free and open to the public. Also, please visit our website at http://cogginsconservation.org.