Ask 13: Does Zen Tubing own the property it uses for parking?

"Does Zen Tubing own the huge amount of property along the river that they use for private parking, and which blocks public access to the river?" Lee Chase of Arden wrote to Ask 13. "If Zen Tubing does not own the property, are they legally prohibiting parking for people not paying for their tubing?" (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

It's no secret that finding parking around Asheville can be challenging. The same issue also goes for access areas along the French Broad River. But does it have to be that way?

Although there may not be a parking problem in the dead of winter, people who use the Bent Creek Park river access on Brevard Road sometimes find it is full during peak warm weather, with no room for parking.

"Does Zen Tubing own the huge amount of property along the river that they use for private parking, and which blocks public access to the river?" Lee Chase of Arden wrote to Ask 13. "If Zen Tubing does not own the property, are they legally prohibiting parking for people not paying for their tubing?"

Zen Tubing's owner Heath White said his business does not own this property, but they do lease it from a private owner and have property rights under their lease agreement.

People might remember this was a county park at one time years ago, but it was never publicly owned land. The county was leasing it from a private owner until the park got a bad name and they shut it down.

So, Zen Tubing has every right to keep people out, especially if they abuse the land or hinder access for paying customers. Since they have a contract for the rights to the property, they can treat it like it is their own and have a right to protect it as they see fit.

White said he's happy to help folks out with river access when he can without hurting his business.

If you have a question you need answered, write to Ask13@WLOS.com.

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