Friends – After two heated public hearings including an unprecedented forced recusal of outstanding Council Member Sue Sweeting from participation in the important process and the exclusion of significant expert testimony in behalf of homeowners impacted by the project, Blowing Rock Council will vote on a requested permit by a Charlotte developer for a 40 room hotel with restaurant, bar, patio service and 53 parking places on a small .905 acre property back of the Speckled Trout in downtown. The vote by the remaining four council members will be part of the regular council monthly meeting that starts at 6:00 P.M. at Town Hall Tuesday night. Important factors concerning this project are:
1. If built the building will reach six stories (60 feet) above Highway 221 becoming a very prominent landmark towering over much of downtown.
2. Downtown buildings are currently limited to three stories (30 feet) in height with some increased height allowed with significant setbacks. The 60 feet height above a primary street could create an important precedent.
3. Town code requires currently that 75% of the front setback space for this building be green space and that all parking be at the sides or in the back of this building. The proposed plan eliminates this green space requirement and uses the declared front setback space off of Morningside Dr. for parking.
4. The project as proposed substantially exceeds the town’s impervious surface limit on terrain that has significant runoff.
5. The development’s customer traffic and tractor trailer delivery truck traffic would be on narrow neighborhood streets Morningside and Rainey.
6. Some parking spaces in the project do not meet town code size requirements.
7. No independent study was done on firefighting for this project.
8. No study was done on the impact of the project on peak summer weekend traffic on the surrounding neighborhood and downtown.
9. Expert appraiser Michael Lacey testified that the hotel development would substantially injure the value of adjoining and abutting residential properties.
We encourage everyone to attend this important meeting that will have a major impact on downtown Blowing Rock.
We also encourage everyone to participate in an open discussion of town issues with Council Member Sue Sweeting at 5:00 P.M. Tuesday night 6/11 at the Town Hall Conference Room.
Thanks so much,
Blowing Rock Civic Association