WNC Travel Guide

An effort to envision the future of Cashiers is now underway as work begins to create a small area plan for the unincorporated Jackson County community. 

The Haywood County Affordable Housing Task Force has run its course, completing an assessment and presenting recommendations designed to ameliorate what has been called a “crisis” in local housing affordability.

Spring can be a scramble at the High Hampton Inn and Country Club in Cashiers. Every year, after a long and quiet winter, the business prepares to reopen its kitchens, its golf greens, its rooms and welcome back the guests as trees leaf out and the cool mountain summer begins. 

• Larger labor pool, longer season make Sylva hiring easier
• Haywood County employers need workers

To meet the challenge, High Hampton’s human resources manager Sydneye Trudics embarks on a rampage of hiring, in a matter of months nearly quadrupling the club’s staff from a cold-weather crew of 50 to a summer peak somewhere north of 180. It’s not an easy task.

A strategic plan developed by a subcommittee of the Haywood County Affordable Housing Task Force that proposes 400 affordable housing units by 2028 makes a number of recommendations to help achieve that goal, including the passage of a general obligation bond and the establishment of a land trust.

A 48-unit apartment complex could be built along Savannah Road in Sylva if town commissioners give the green light at their meeting Thursday, March 9.

Sylva’s leaders have long grappled with how to spur the town’s stagnant residential tax base and get more high-density housing within its limits, but when a proposal for a 136-unit apartment complex made its way before town commissioners last week, the board was less than enthusiastic about the concept.

Making their way around a room studded with tables, informational posters and documents for review, Jackson County residents took advantage of their first opportunity — Tuesday, Nov. 29 — to see where county leaders envisioned steering the county over the next 25 years.

During his tenure on the Haywood County Commission, retiring Chairman Mark Swanger has certainly shaped what the future of the county will look like for decades to come.

As with any problem, the first step toward solving it is admitting that there is a problem.

If you don’t think there is an affordable housing problem in the mountain region, you’re just not paying attention.

In last week’s cover story in The Smoky Mountain News (www.smokymountainnews.com/news/item/18291) and in a subsequent story in this week’s edition, we looked into several issues related to affordable housing. But it’s the simple numbers concerning income and pricing that tell the story in the most easy-to-understand terms.

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