To the Advertiser-Gleam:

My name is Louis Waddell. Our home is the old Yarbrough house at 900 Gunter Ave.

I am an elderly flatlander from Texas where the closest tree is out of sight and we’ve been arguing with the city for 35 years that neither Branson nor Gatlinburg have the natural environment resources and the remnant of quaint charm possessed by Guntersville. The city government personnel are too naïve to appreciate the obvious.

In 1984, my family was fascinated with the North Town shopping and the old home lining the road. Today I doubt that I would slow down. Guntersville’s rezoning has done significant damage to any scenic charm.

My ancestors settled in Alabama long before statehood. At the end of the Civil War, three different branches of my ancestors were told by Alabama carpet baggers that they were going to be prosecuted for war crimes, so they ran.

In 1919 the Yarbroughs started their house, proudly adopting a Gunter Avenue address.

Some fifty years later, Guntersville authorities threatened to bulldoze the Yarbrough home. Mrs. Yarbrough did not run!

Some fifty years later, the Guntersville city government repeatedly with religious fervor threatens to commercialize and possibly destroy my neighbor’s home using a policy titled “Linear City Planning.” Why? Cause they can! The city government personnel patronize and demean like we are simple local yokels when we are trying to preserve the remnants of the quaint charm and our neighbors’ dreams of environmental security.

This is not a Monopoly Game. These homes on highway 431 belong to REAL people who are you neighbors and friends! Look at the 25 miles through 3 cities of 431 at the car lots, failing strip malls, failing businesses, vacant buildings, and vacant lots. Stop this destructive obsession to change residential zoning to business.

Find a way to stop our youth from having to leave. Build affordable housing. Encourage meaningful employment. Find means for tourism to enjoy our hospitality and natural environment. Learn to respect and appreciate the people who live here.

Once again I plead with you … WE LIVE HERE TOO SO LEAVE US ALONE!

Louis Waddell

Guntersville, Ala.

What’s your opinion? The Advertiser-Gleam accepts letters to the editor on local issues. Email them to or mail to P.O. Box 190, Guntersville, AL 35976. Please include your phone number. We don’t publish phone numbers, but like to have them for verification purposes. We also ask letter writers to include their address.

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