Candidate Forum

YOUR VOTE COUNTS
MEET YOUR BLOWING ROCK COMMISSIONERS & CHALLENGERS”
CANDIDATE ROUNDTABLE
THURSDAY OCTOBER 3, 2019
BLOWING ROCK AMERICAN LEGION BUILDING
6:15PM SOCIAL & 7:00PM PROGRAM
DON’T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY.  YOUR FUTURE DEPENDS ON THIS ELECTION  !!!!
AND HOMEOWNERS ARE 85% OF THE PROPERTY TAX BASE.
SEE YOU THERE

Pickleball at Memorial Park

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America. Blowing Rock is on board with 80 active players in Memorial Park.

Resident pickleball players asked the Town Council to add an additional multi-purpose pickleball and basketball court and provide storage for nets.

Copy and Paste this Link to read an article in the Blowing Rocket by Thomas Sherrill.

https://linkprotect.cudasvc.com/url?a=https%3a%2f%2fwww.wataugademocrat.com%2fnews%2fblowing-rock-pickleball-players-ask-for-permanent-courts-in-memorial%2farticle_8e5a2410-0d39-5cfa-b6f8-c9ac5a64a6da.html&c=E,1,3IomUmAy1FJQTfjYgHKl0iUZsuEjw359sHs-hRXB3AfCK2eQi4rlFVrO5VpugMuUhtMZNdcEUxv5YBu_UF49XZXfhnu2V0MUeGMgv-5Lv6kut4Y,&typo=1

THE CHAMBER’S STATE OF THE TOWN MEETING AUGUST 15, 2019

BLOWING ROCK RESIDENTS HEAR THE CHAMBER’S 2019 STATE OF  THE TOWN

The Chamber hosted a State of the Town meeting on August 15th.  Speakers included Shane Fox, Town Manager, Charles Hardin, Chamber Executive Director, Amanda Lugenbell, Assistant Director of the TDA and Mayor Charlie Sellers.

If you subscribe to The Blowing Rocket, you can read an article about the meeting by Thomas Sherrill.

https://www.wataugademocrat.com/news/blowing-rock-residents-hear-the-state-of-the-town/article_062e3d11-9a9d-5d64-abc8-3d20617d7fad.html#utm_source=wataugademocrat.com&utm_campaign=%2Fnewsletters%2Fheadlines%2F%3F-dc%3D1566552611&utm_medium=email&utm_content=headline

Key points of discussion included the state of major projects, like Sunset Drive, Inn at Cornish, 1150 Main Street and Bass Lake sidewalk, adequate workforce, and parking solutions.

The members of the Chamber 2019 Leadership  Challenge Program have identified installation of playground bathrooms as their community project. The project is a priority due to school children not being able to get inside quickly due to security protocol, as well as use by community kids, visitors and recreation programs.  The project will be constructed in spring 2020, based on a fund raising program of $50,000 and $75,000 from the community.

Another issue Hardin brought up for the future is balancing business growth versus keeping Blowing Rock the same. “It’s hard to continue economic growth without destroying the charm of this place,” Hardin said.

The community will host two Candidate Forums for the Town Council.  Mayor Sellers is not opposed and four candidates are running for two open seats currently held by Albert Yount and Jim Steele.  The two additional candidates include David Harwood and Ray Pickett.  The Civic Association’s  Forum is scheduled for 6:15 PM on Thursday, October 3rd at the American Legion Building.  The Chamber’s  Forum is  scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, October 14, at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium.

Blowing Rock Civic Association News

POST – Message from your President

Friends & Neighbors

I am looking forward to leading our organization with the help of a very capable board of directors and your support.  Please visit our website at www.brcivic.org/board-of-directors/to view the recent addition of the bios for our board of directors.

The Civic Association is a strong voice for Homeowners just like the Chamber is a strong voice for Business.  We strive to independently determine the facts of key issues to assure decisions are made with all the facts on the table and to advocate for Homeowners.

Unfortunately, the community has not been unified for the first six months of 2019 and our Civic Association has been under attack as we try to advocate for Homeowners. The Public Hearing on changes to the Land Use Code for Downtown and the Public Hearing for the Rainey Lodge Project divided our community.

My #1 priority and commitment is to work with our community leaders and stakeholder organizations to bring us together to develop solutions for issues that have divided our community.

I believe it is time that we acknowledge the lack of unity on the re-development of our downtown business districts, especially Main Street, and begin a process to bring the community together.

The key question is “How do we protect our historic village while amending our Land Use Code to encourage compatible re-development?”

I have begun meeting with community leaders to build relationships to address this issue and others and continue to attend Town Council and Planning Board meetings.  If you attended our annual meeting, you met our new Town Manager, Mr. Shane Fox. He is committed to open communication and we are looking forward to his leadership.

Please watch for an update of our Communication & Action Plan to refresh and share our goals and recommended action steps.

Mark your calendar for our Candidates Forum on October 3rd at the American Legion Building.  Mayor Sellers does not have a challenger and four candidates are running for two seats on the Town Council. You will have an opportunity to ask questions of the candidates.

Homeowners pay 85% of property taxes, but most Homeowners do not vote in Blowing Rock. You vote with your pocketbook but not at the ballot box.  Elections are won usually by less than 50 votes. Many of you have a choice where you vote. Please consider changing your voter registration to Blowing Rock where YOUR VOTE COUNTS. Please evaluate your ability to register to www.ncsbe.gov/voters/registering-to-vote.

Finally, I want to hear directly from you on issues of concern. You can email me at tgupton@hpg.com or call me at 919.418.8555. We are evaluating a survey tool to solicit your opinions on key issues, so stay tuned.

Respectfully,

 

Tim Gupton

Brief Summary of Town Council Meeting August 13, 2019

The Town Manager promoted Aaron Miller to Police Chief and Matt Blackburn to Public Works Director.  Both had served in interim roles.

 

Greg Tarbutton of Chetola spoke during the citizen comment period to warn about the national and state risk of overriding local control of short term rental zoning based on an aggressive lobbying effort by Airbnb, a $38B company.  We tracked bills during the NC legislative session to override local ordinances. One limiting permitting by local government was approved and one to eliminate local control did not make it out of committee to the floor.

 

The Council denied on a vote of 4 to deny and 1 to approve an application recommended by the Planning Board to establish a Short Term Rental Overlay for 5 houses on Valley Boulevard primarily due to the risks associated with setting a precedent outside of existing Short Term Rental Districts.

 

Time limited (3 hours)  parking for the south side of Park Avenue was discussed and decision was deferred to a larger discussion about downtown parking at the Winter Retreat.  Our Communicate and Action Plan and the 2014 Comprehensive Plan both address the need to address downtown parking.

 

Our Plan recommends:

1.    Paid parking at least on Main Street

2.    Public input before decisions are made

3.    Advice from a professional parking company before decisions are made

4.    Feeder parking lots or garages to disburse parking and encourage use of AppalCART and  pedestrian traffic to Town Center

 

Most small towns contract with parking companies that implement and manage all aspects of paid parking solutions. Parking revenue goes to the Town, but parking fines are remitted to the state for education funding. Mr. Matheson reported that AppalCART use is improving.

 

Contact Tim Gupton at 919.418.8555 or tgupton@hpg.c  for further input or quest

STATE OF THE TOWN – YOU ARE INVITED

The Blowing Rock Chamber invites the entire community to  an update from the Town of Blowing Rock.  Learn what is going on in town, the latest Tourism Development initiatives and numbers, an update from the Chamber of Commerce and the Village Foundation on its current initiatives.

 

The public is invited to attend the event on Thursday August 15 at 5:30 in the Community Meeting Room at BRAHM.

 

SHORT TERM RENTAL OVERLAY DISTRICT TO BE DISCUSSED BY TOWN COUNCIL AUGUST 13, ,2019

Rezoning – 5 Houses on Valley Blvd – Request for Short-Term Rental Overlay District

We have been tracking the proposal to rezone five houses on a Valley Blvd  to permit short-term rental for a minimum of one week.

All five of the homeowners on the cul-de-sac have  requested the Short-Term Rental Overlay District.

The houses are located  on a cul-de-sac on Valley Boulevard across  from the Country Club just south of  Main Street and before Ridgeline Restaurant.  The Z signs are posted on the properties.

The Planning Board recommended approval to the Town Council who will consider the matter at a public hearing  during the monthly council meeting on August 13, 2019.

Any person wishing to comment on the above item may do so during the public hearing or by sending written comments to Hilari H. Hubner, Town Clerk, PO Box 47, Blowing Rock, NC, 28605 prior to the Council meeting.