Support our Local Restaurants – Take Out Available

Dear Friends of Blowing Rock,

The Blowing Rock Chamber and TDA worked together to make a list of local restaurants, their new operating hours, and take out options.

You can find the information below and from this link – https://blowingrock.com/covid-19-information/

You will also find a list of retailers open on this site.

It’s so important we support our neighbors during this time!

The following Blowing Rock restaurants are offering take-out! Hours may vary or change depending on staffing and operations.
Bistro Roca
828-2955-4008
143 Wonderland Trail
12-8 pm Wed-Mon
Take out or delivery! Online ordering from website or Facebook
Follow on Facebook for updates

Blowing Rock Ale House
828-414-9600
152 Sunset Drive
11:30am-8pm Thurs-Sun
Open for carry-out food and beer. Call to order. Can include 6-packs or growlers with order!
Follow on Facebook for updates

Blowing Rock Market
828-414-9322
990 Main Street
9am-6pm daily
Deli orders to go. Call-in or order online!
Follow on Facebook for updates

Camp Coffee
828-372-2070
921 Main Street
7am-6pm daily
Order coffee to-go. Online orders for whole bean coffee available.
Follow on Facebook for updates

Chestnut Grille at Green Park Inn
828-414-9230
9239 Valley Boulevard
8-9:30am Mon-Fri & 7:30-10am Sat-Sun (breakfast), 5-9pm Fri-Sat
Offering to go orders for breakfast and limited dinner menu.
Follow on Facebook for updates

El Rincon
828-414-9784
870 Main Street
10am-5pm Fri-Sat, 10am-3pm Sun
Offering take out, curbside pickup, and free delivery within 5 miles!
Follow on Facebook for menu and updates

Foggy Rock
828-295-7262
8180 Valley Boulevard
11:30am-8pm Mon-Sat
Offering take out and curbside pickup with a limited menu.
Follow on Facebook for updates

Mellow Mushroom
828-295-3399
946 Main Street
11:30am-8:30pm daily
Offering take out orders from the full menu. Online ordering available!
Follow on Facebook for updates

Moon Thai Sushi
828-414-9905
7179 Valley Boulevard
11:30am-3pm & 4:30-9pm daily, open til 9:30pm Fri & Sat
Pick up orders available, full menu on website

New Public House
828-295-3487
239 Sunset Drive
11am to 8pm daily
Special menu with family meals available. Free to-go kids’ breakfast every day. Curb-side pick up, local delivery available.
Follow on Facebook for updates

Outback Steakhouse
828-295-6283
8280 Valley Boulevard
4-8pm Mon-Thur, 4-10 pm Fri, 11am-10pm Sat, 11am-8pm Sun
Order online or call in order, curbside pickup and delivery available.
Follow on Facebook for updates

Papa Joe’s Italian American Restaurant
828-295-3239
8062 Valley Boulevard
Open daily
Carry out available
Follow on Facebook for updates

Restaurant at Gideon Ridge
828-295-3008
202 Gideon Ridge Road
Tues-Sun
Serving take-out, call to order by 4pm the day before pickup. Menu on website.
Follow on Facebook for updates

Ridgeline
828-414-9922
8960 Valley Boulevard
11:30am-9pm Fri & Sat, 10am-9pm Sun, 11:30am-4pm Mon
Carry out available
Follow on Facebook for menu and updates

Savannah’s Oyster House
828-414-9354
155 Sunset Drive
11am-9pm daily
Family meals for 4-6 people, plus full menu to go. Curbside pickup and free delivery available.
Follow on Facebook for updates

Six Pence Pub
828-295-3155
1121 Main Street
11am-10pm daily
Offering menu for take out, plus bottled beer & wine.

Speckled Trout Restaurant & Bottle Shop
828-295-9819
922 Main Street
12-8pm, Thurs-Mon
Full menu plus bottled beer & wine. Online ordering for curbside pickup!
Follow on Facebook for updates

Subway
828-295-7827
8433 Valley Boulevard
10am-7pm daily
To-go service, order online or at the counter.

Sunny Rock
828-414-9636
8146 Valley Boulevard
8:30am-1:30pm Mon-Sat
To go and curbside service with a limited menu. Gift cards available for later visits.
Follow on Facebook for updates

Town Tavern Blowing Rock
828-295-7500
1182 Main Street
11am-9pm daily
Offering take out. Details on Facebook about loyalty program.
Follow on Facebook for updates

Twigs Restaurant
828-295-5050
7956 Valley Boulevard
5:30-9:30 pm Tues- Sun, open til 10pm Fri & Sat
Curbside pickup orders for full menu. Delivery available for Blowing Rock area
Follow on Facebook for updates

Woodlands BBQ
828-295-3651
8304 Valley Boulevard
12-7pm, Wed-Sun
Full menu except Mexican & Appetizers available for carry out.
Follow on Facebook for updates

Copyright © 2020 Blowing Rock Civic Association, All rights reserved.
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PO Box 2471
Blowing Rock, NC 28605-2471

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LETTER FROM OUR TOWN MANAGER TO OUR TOWN

DATE: March 21, 2020
FROM: Shane Fox, Town Manager, Blowing Rock, NC
RE: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update and Local Efforts

To our beloved Blowing Rock residents, businesses, and stakeholders,

I am writing to you today to provide an update regarding COVID-19, as well as to highlight the plans in place in our community to address any local implications of this virus.

Watauga County, App HealthCare, the Town of Blowing Rock, and neighboring jurisdictions, have been preparing for emerging infectious diseases for many years. While COVID-19 is a new virus, the coordination, communication efforts, and infrastructure around our public health preparedness is firmly in place.

To date, there have been two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county. App HealthCare is receiving regular updates from NC Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on this rapidly evolving situation. The department is in regular contact with key town officials and Appalachian Regional HealthCare to discuss status reports, directives, and messaging for the community. In addition, your Town Manager is participating in daily conference calls hosted by App HealthCare, which offer updates and guidance for County school officials, municipalities, and other stakeholders in the community.

Following direction from Governor Roy Cooper and State officials, the Town of Blowing Rock will be making several changes to Town programs, activities, and access to municipal buildings in an effort to keep residents and Town employees healthy and safe.

Blowing Rock Police Officers and the Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue Department will continue to respond to emergency calls for service. If you have an emergency, dial 911 and officers will respond as always. For non-emergency Police calls please dial 828-295-5210.

Blowing Rock Town Hall: Beginning on Monday, March 16, there will be no public access to Town Hall until further notice. All Town Hall staff will continue to work and will be available to respond to any questions and provide services by email and phone by calling 828-295-5200. We have our administrative staff answering calls and offering assistance during normal business hours.

A locked drop-box is also located in front of Town Hall where payments and other Town Hall correspondence may be dropped off. This box is checked regularly each business day.

Planning and Zoning will continue to work and provide service via phone calls, emails, and appointments as needed. Please call 828-295-5200.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, commercial trash pick-up will be on Wednesday only. Residential trash pick-up is on schedule as normal.

Blowing Rock Water Treatment Plant and the Blowing Rock Waste-Water Treatment Plant will continue operations as normal. All Staff are present as normal. Streets Department is working on rotating schedules and are present for issues and repairs that arise.

Effective on Saturday, March 14, the Blowing Rock Parks and Recreation Department will postpone all programs, classes, rentals and events until further notice.

Local Restaurant and Business Support: Dine-in service at all restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops is suspended; however, many restaurants are offering take-out or delivery options. Town Partners at the Chamber and TDA have developed resources to help support these restaurants through their websites.

https://blowingrock.com/
https://www.blowingrockncchamber.com/home

The community is also encouraged to Shop Local. Many stores are offering pick-up and delivery options and more plans will be shared in the coming days. Resources to support local businesses are also available on the town websites.

Churches:

Our Town Churches are here for support and assistance:

Rumple Memorial Presbyterian -Kathy Beach
828-295-7675
Pastorrumple@gmail.com

St. Mary’s of the Hills Episcopal – Andrew Hege
828-295-7323
rector@stmaryofthehills.org

Blowing Rock Methodist – Michael Brown
828-372-7009
mbb4567@yahoo.com

First Baptist of Blowing Rock-Rusty Guenther
828-295-7715
rusty@firstbaptistblowingrock.com

Statewide Information:

Governor Roy Cooper and state officials issued new orders for all communities in North Carolina that include:

• Restricting all gatherings to 25 people or fewer (this includes civic, public, leisure, faith-based events, sporting events with spectators, concerts, and venues like fitness centers, private clubs, and theatres)

• Temporarily eliminating all on-premises dining at bars, restaurants, cafes and other eating establishments and allowing take-out options ONLY (grocery stores are exempt from this order to allow people to purchase food and supplies)

As of March 19, an Order of Abatement of Imminent Hazard issued by the Secretary of the NC Department of Health and Human Services, states that “seating areas of restaurants and bars constitute an imminent hazard for the spread of COVID-19.” Restaurants shall close all seating areas immediately and bars are directed to close immediately. Restaurants are restricted to carry-out, drive-through, and delivery to ensure food is available while maintaining social distancing. Restaurant staff are not permitted to serve patrons indoors or in the outdoor seating area, and all areas of North Carolina are subject to mass gathering restrictions and social distancing guidelines. If a restaurant has outdoor seating, onsite consumption in the outdoor seating area is not permitted pursuant to the Order of Abatement.

• Closing all public and private schools

Guidance on Social Distancing:

Public Health officials agree that social distancing – keeping people as physically separate as possible – can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and “flatten the curve” to limit the numbers of cases of infection on any given day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has detailed resources for our community.

1. Refrain from interacting with vulnerable groups or individuals – grandparents, chronically ill; immune compromised.
2. In public, avoid touching things that have been touched by many others – doors knobs, push buttons, credit card machine buttons, etc. If you must use a high touch object, wash hands immediately.
3. Don’t go to necessary places like grocery stores during high peak hours; remain at least 6 feet away from others when shopping or in lines; use delivery services if possible.
4. Opt for activities that allow you and family members to keep distances from others. For parents, this means not allowing playdates; not allowing students who are out of school to congregate together in large groups, both inside homes and outside.
5. Stay at home as much as possible. Businesses and employers are encouraging people to work from home. Look for ways to stay in contact with others by phone, social media, online meeting platforms and other remote technology.

Please continue to be vigilant in following the restrictions in place; remind children, teens and young adults to adhere to these restrictions; and check on neighbors and those who may be frail, vulnerable, lonely or feel isolated.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/03.16.20_coronavirus-guidance_8.5x11_315PM.pdf

Mental Health:

Visit the App HealthCare website for Mental Health resources and regular updates.
https://www.apphealthcare.com/

Help and information regarding Coronavirus is also available by calling North Carolina 2-1-1.

The Town of Blowing Rock is focused on the health, safety, and welfare of our citizens, staff, and families. Town staff and officials appreciate the many individual, grassroots, and outreach efforts offered to residents as we all work together to protect our community. Thank you for your understanding as we work through these difficult times.

Welcome New Board Member – Gigi Poole

Dear Friends of Blowing Rock,

Your Civic Association is blessed with a talented and involved board of directors.

Please join me in welcoming Gigi Poole to your board of directors. Many of you know Gigi who is an involved and active citizen.

Gigi, a native of Fort Mill, SC, is a retired Vice President and Trust Officer with First Union National Bank, valuing privately held financial assets. She is a CPA and CFA, having started career at Ernst and Young. Gigi has been a resident of Blowing Rock since 2013 and has served as president of two homeowner associations in the South Carolina coast resort town of Pawleys Island. She is a member of BRAHM, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Blowing Rock Historical Society, Blue Ridge Conservancy, Blowing Rock Country Club and now Blowing Rock Civic Association.

Gigi and her husband, Shawn, chose Blowing Rock like many of our homeowners who have chosen Blowing Rock as a seasonal home or as a primary home after successful careers and who know invest time and resources in our community.

Gigi and Shawn vacationed in Blowing Rock as kids and parents of young children and move to Blowing Rock from Atlanta. Atlanta Magazine published an article about this choice of Blowing Rock in the attached article entitled – “Our Mountain Home”.

https://www.atlantamagazine.com/homeandgarden/our-mountain-home-blowing-rock-north-carolina/

Attached below are short bios about our board of directors to illustrate the skills and experiences they bring to guide our organization.

All the best during this troubling time. We all hope to return to normal soon.

Sincerely,

Tim Gupton, President
919-418-8555

BIOS – Blowing ROCK CIVIC ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Chairman of the Board –George T. Wilcox –CEO and Owner of Wilcox & Co. financial consulting, life and health insurance and investments. Former manager Merck & Co. Former member of the Board of Blowing Rock Hospital, former member of the Board Blowing Rock Country Club, member of BRAHM, member of BR Chamber of Commerce, member BR Methodist Church, member BR Historical Society, member Blue Ridge Conservancy, member Conservation Trust of N.C.

President -Tim C. Gupton–Retired partner with KPMG and then from his own firm Hughes, Pittman and Gupton, LLP. He remains an active partner with HPG Wealthcare Advisors, LLC. Tim was also a founder and general partner of Research Triangle Ventures and was an executive, board member, and co-founder of several successful startup biopharmaceutical companies. He currently is a board member of Blue Ridge Conservancy, Village Foundation and Mayview Park Homeowners Association and a member of BRAHM and Chamber of Commerce.

Vice President –William H. Carter –CEO and Owner of Carter Land Co. commercial real estate sales, development, investment and management. Longtime Blowing Rock resident and property owner and a member of various BR organizations.

Secretary/Treasurer –Betsy C. Wilcox –Manager and agent Wilcox & Co. financial consulting, life and health insurance and investments. Graduate of UNC Greensboro, N.C. Member of BRAHM, BR Chamber of Commerce, BR Methodist Church, BR Historical Society, Blue Ridge Conservancy and Conservation Trust of N.C.

Brian Beaty –Computer networking consultant and former Mayor Pro Tem of the Town of Marvin, N.C. , one of America’s fastest growing towns.

Dr. Barry Miller Buxton –Former president of Lees McRae College. Barry is a native of Blowing Rock and the definitive historian of our great town. He is the author of “A Village Tapestry” that includes photos of our late friend and legendary editor of the “The Blowing Rocket”, Jerry Burns. He gained national renown for his extensive work on science and history museums around the world and such notable individuals as former president, George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush. Barry has served community organizations in Savanah and other cities and is a recipient of the North Carolina “Order of the Long Leaf Pine”.

Karyn K. Herterich –Karyn and her husband Dieter own SouthMarke Shopping Mall in downtown BR. Karyn also owns and manages one of SouthMarke’s outstanding shops Serves You Right. She has had extensive involvement in the BR Chamber and other BR organizations. Through her Kennedy Herterich Foundation Karyn has been a very charitable benefactor of many Blowing Rock and High Country organizations and endeavors. Karyn is the North Carolina member on the Board of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Jean Kitchin–Owner , CEO and President of a company that includes three pharmacies for 16 years. Former Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of UNC Chapel Hill, Former Chair of the UNC Chapel Hill Alumni Association, recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from UNC Chapel Hill, Former Chair of the UNC Lineberger Cancer Center Board of Visitors, Former Chair of the Nash County Rocky Mount Board of Education, has hosted and produced television programs for a number of state stations and continues to host and produce programs for WHIG TV. Jean is an active member of various BR organizations.

Thomas Lucido -Tom is President, of Lucido & Associates located in Stuart, Florida. Tom resides in Stuart, FL and Blowing Rock, NC. Lucido & Associates provides clients with a full spectrum of services in land planning, landscape architecture, comprehensive planning, local governmental coordination, and environmental analysis. Tom’s expertise is in large scale planning for mixed use communities. One well known project Tom has been involved with is the Stuart Downtown Redevelopment program. He has worked together with the City and the Community Redevelopment Association in realizing their master vision. Lucido & Associates has been recognized through numerous local, state and national awards. Recently Lucido & Associates has been involved in various local projects, providing landscape architecture for private residences and for landscape improvements for the Blowing Rock Country Club and Diamond Creek Country Club.

Dan J. McLamb –Dan, a law graduate of UNC Chapel Hill where he also received his undergraduate degree is a founding partner of Yates, McLamb & Weyher, LLP in Raleigh. Dan is recognized as one of the best litigators in North Carolina. Dan has received numerous professional awards and extensive professional recognition. His clients include some of the state’s most outstanding institutions and companies. Dan is a Blowing Rock homeowner, member of the Blowing Rock Country Club and member of other statewide organizations.

Blake Pace –Blake who received both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Maryland College Park is General Manager of Affordable High Country Housing, a company that buys, repairs, manages and sells homes. Blake is also a very talented musical producer and performer, having performed at a number of events for President Ronald Reagan. Blake serves as President of Ensemble Stage Company, one of the state’s most outstanding theatrical organizations. Blake has also been active in the BR Chamber and various other BR and high Country organizations.

Gigi M. Poole -Retired VP and Trust Officer, First Union National Bank, valuing privately held financial assets, CPA, CFA, having started career at Ernst and Young. Resident of Blowing Rock since 2013. Past President of 2 Homeowners’ Associations in South Carolina coast resort town of Pawley’s Island. Member of BRAHM, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, BR Historical Society, Blue Ridge Conservancy, BR Country Club. Native of Fort Mill, SC.

James M. Scott –Jim had an extensive military career as an officer and an engineer. After retiring from the military Jim pursued a career as an engineer in the private sector. Jim who has been involved in Blowing Rock for years served as Chairman of the Blowing Rock Planning Board for several years. Jim also obtained a real estate license for his business activities. Jim is an active member of various BR organizations.

Marshall Sealey –Marshall is an engineering graduate of N.C. State and has more than years of engineering and construction experience with major international companies on projects in states and countries. He was a manager of quality control engineering project conformance to industry standards. He prepared, reviewed and approved product specifications and managed construction inspections and testing.

Julian R. West, Jr. –Julian, a graduate of East Carolina University, was an owner and executive of PS West Construction Co. in Statesville, N.C. After retiring from the company Julian has continued in commercial real estate development and management. Julian also serves as a director of a regional bank. Julian was a member of the Statesville Planning and Zoning Board and of the Statesville Board of Adjustments. He was also Chairman of the Statesville Chamber of Commerce. He is a Charter member of The Greater Statesville Rotary Club and he has served on a number of other civic and church boards. Julian has a home and other investment properties in Blowing Rock. He is an active member of various

Copyright © 2020 Blowing Rock Civic Association, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

Our mailing address is:
Blowing Rock Civic Association
PO Box 2471
Blowing Rock, NC 28605-2471

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2019 Blowing Rock Construction Permits – Modest but Steady Residential Growth Continues

Dear Friends of Blowing Rock,

Blowing Rock issued 355 building permits in 2019 with a value of $18.1 million down 17% from 335 permits in 2018 with a value of $21.9.

Residential permits were $14.2 million and commercial permits were $3.9 million. The mix of residential to commercial permits continues to be approximately 75% of 80% of total permits.

The trend continues to be steady, but below the 5 year average of $21.4 million. The 5 year average was substantially impacted by 2017 which was a banner year of 303 permits with a value of $39.5 million.

There was a shift in residential renovation permits in 2019 increasing to 74% of total residential permits from 34% in 2018. The shift shows the impact of a small number of large new homes constructed in recent years and a new trend towards restoration and renovation of older homes. The change seems to indicate choice to invest in our historic resort community.

To put the volume of permits in perspective, the total value of permits in 2019 represents only 1.6% of our property tax base or approximately $70 thousand of new property tax revenue. Growth in our property tax base has been and will continue to be modest.

The Winkler Organization has been the most active new developer in 2019 and 2020 obtaining permits for two commercial hotel projects and one small subdivision. The permits for Rainey Lodge have not been issued.

Property tax revenue represents 51% of the Town’s total operating budget. Homeowners pay 92% of total property taxes in Blowing Rock which is a much larger percentage than most cities that have a significant commercial or industrial economy. Our seasonal homeowners are the equivalent of our commercial or industrial component of our local economy. Our Advocacy Plan has pointed out that we should re-set our economic development equation to recognize and capitalize on the importance of our seasonal homeowners as a major driver of our tourism economy.

Since we are a seasonal resort community, the average property tax valuation per capita is over $900 thousand for each “full-time” resident who has declared Blowing Rock as their primary residence. Approximately 80% of the homeowners are seasonal residents and taxpayers. This statistic is a major positive underwriting factor for our bond rating. The properties listed the recent bond prospectus with the highest property tax valuations were all owned by seasonal homeowners.

All property will be revalued by the county on an 8 year cycle in 2022. The revaluation should not result in additional property tax revenue for the Town. Any increase in overall property tax values is usually offset by a corresponding reduction in the mileage rate (“Roll-Back”) which is currently $0.39 per $100 in Blowing Rock; otherwise, the Town Council would be voting for a significant tax rate increase.

We should be encouraged by the trends in new and renovation construction that that our historical village continues to attract seasonal and some permanent homeowners as it has for over 100 years.

Tim

Tim Gupton, President
919-418-8555

Rankin Road Proposed Subdivision

Dear Friends of Blowing Rock

The Town Council will review and vote on a new subdivision of 5 single-family lots off of Rankin Road. The Winkler Family purchased the property and subdivided it into 7 homesites including one lot with a large home that is being renovated for their personal use and one lot on Rankin Road that has been subdivided and sold.

The Planning Board approved the project on February 20, 2020.

The permit is a CUP, meaning a quasi-judicial public hearing. Only adjacent residents have standing to speak about the project.

Our New Project Evaluation Committee led by Marshall Sealy reviewed the application, attended the public meetings and prepared the following project report to share the facts about the project.

PROJECT FACTS
1. Project Name: Rankin Road Subdivision
2. Application Type – Conditional Zoning CUP2020-01
3. Developer and Applicant – John Winkler
4. Developer Track Record – Significant developer and owner of properties in Blowing Rock and Boone who is currently completing Inn at Cornish on Main St and in design stage on Blue Ridge Hotel, also on Main St
5. Project Location – Rankin Road adjacent to Blowing Rock Country Club
6. Zoning District – R-15 ( 2 dwellings per acre)
7. Project Description – Existing property purchased with existing house to be renovated, house and lot to be sold, and addition of new road and subdividing remaining land into 4 or 5 lots for construction of new dwellings. This rezoning is for the road and lots to be developed. Preliminary plans included subdivided lot, road path with services in road and new plantings along road, and existing sewer details were available.
8. Lot sizes – 18,100 to 52,700 square feet
9. Footprint – same as 7
10. Topography – Around exiting houses and frontage on Rankin St, lot is reasonably level. The undeveloped land is reasonably flat on the north end of the property but at the south boundary, the land slopes away from Rankin Road significantly. That point is adjacent to the 17th hole of the Country Club which is straight downhill parallel to the property line – one of the steepest slopes on the golf course. Portions of the lots have sewer and creek easements or setbacks.
11. Use – Lots (price point ranging from $300 – 600K) for construction of single family homes. Lot price will drive the cost of homes to be built on each lot.
12. Adjacent property – Blowing Rock Country Club, Homes on Rankin Road, Grassy Knoll Way and Rickard Dr
13. Impact on Neighborhood – Construction of road and homes will impact neighbors with traffic, construction noise and eventual residential traffic.
14. Type of homes – Yet to be determined. John Winkler in answering questions, proposed establishment of Architectural review board approving each houses design. The Town Planning Board endorsed that proposal
15. Architectural Design – unknown at this time. See item 14
16. Height – same as 14
17. Setback – There is a creek bank through the rear of the lots to be developed. the extent of the creek bank will determine the developable area for each
18. Parking Requirement – same as 15
19. Greenspace – All lots are heavily treed with removal of trees for the road and optimum use of trees on the home sites.
20. Declared Variances by Staff – none noted
21. Code Interpretations by Staff – none noted. Planning Director noted all Codes and Regs were met.

22. Other information presented during Planning Board Meeting.
• Mr. Winkler made no presentation, but answered questions from the Planning Board and attendees.
• Answers from Mr. Winkler included
o Lots can be sold prior to completion of new road
o First activity will include remodel of existing home and guest home on property now
o Plans to make the existing house his home
o May build one new house, but he has not decided yet
23. Other items to note.
• The creek in the rear of the lots has little flow in dry weather.
• There were two neighbors present who had questions/concerns over density and noise .
24. Missing information – Stormwater provisions, but that will come with construction permits.
25. The proposed project appears to comply with the recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan and provides several additional home sites in a desirable location.

Copyright © 2020 Blowing Rock Civic Association, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

Our mailing address is:
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PO Box 2471
Blowing Rock, NC 28605-2471

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Blowing Rock Board of Adjustments Again Denies Wilmot Circle Owner Short-Term Rentals

The saga continues, but the Town holds the line on spreading short term rentals to neighborhoods.

READ ARTICLE BY STEVE FRANK PUBLISHED BY HIGH COUNTRY PRESS

https://www.hcpress.com/news/blowing-rock-board-of-adjustments-again-denies-wilmot-circle-owner-short-term-rentals.html

Blowing Rock Board of Adjustments Again Denies Wilmot Circle Owner Short-Term Rentals – See Below
PUBLISHED THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2020
By Steve Frank

After a second marathon session of the Blowing Rock Board of Adjustments, the Town of Blowing Rock has again slammed the door on short-term rentals in the R-15 residential zones. The decision came in the case of property owned by Chad Frazier, the 163 Wilmot Circle apartment building that has been the center of the growing conflict for the over three years Frazier has owned the property.

The second session of the appeal began at 5:30pm with BOA Interim Chair E.B. Springs joking that there was a very important basketball game on at 9 that he wanted to be home in time to see. But like the marathon session that began this hearing late on the afternoon of January 15th and was recessed at 11pm, this one wouldn’t be decided until after midnight on 2/20/2020.

And it probably is not a settled dispute, as Frazier’s attorney, David S. Pokela of Greensboro, answered a request for a comment on the decision, saying “I don’t comment on ongoing litigation.”

But between the opening gavel and the early-morning finale, the three attorneys—Pokela for Frazier, the appellate, Boone attorneys Allen Moseley, representing the Town of Blowing Rock, and Jonathan Green, representing the closest property owners to the disputed property, Jack and Morgan Horner, debated points and history of Blowing Rock zoning law. David Pokela questioned Blowing Rock Planning Director Kevin Rothrock at length about the sequences that lead to changes in the town ordinance, especially on the most recent changes that occurred in 2018, attempting to demonstrate that changes were made after Frazier purchased the property.

For a time, it appeared the town’s case might hinge on a single word from another North Carolina governing body as Rockingham County, in a Court of Appeals decision rendered Monday, took to task the term “use” as in “actual and intended use” in the local ordinance, a point to which attorney Pokela said “You have to read ‘intent’ out of this by implication,” pointing out that the Rockingham County decision “expressly excluded intent.” It took some time for the attorneys to come to terms over Pokela’s fresh argument, but in the end, chairman Springs read several extensive sets of points and findings in the case, and the board voted unanimously to deny Frazier’s appeal.

Blowing Rock Again Denies Wilmot Circle Owner

BOA Appeal May Be Forthcoming

After a second marathon session of the Blowing Rock Board of Adjustments, the Town of Blowing Rock has again slammed the door on short-term rentals in the R-15 residential zones.   The decision came in the case of property owned by Chad Frazier, the 163 Wilmot Circle apartment building that has been the center of the growing conflict for the over three years Frazier has owned the property.

The second session of the appeal began at 5:30pm with BOA Interim Chair E.B. Springs joking that there was a very important basketball game on at 9 that he wanted to be home in time to see. But like the marathon session that began this hearing late on the afternoon of January 15th and was recessed at 11pm, this one wouldn’t be decided until after midnight on 2/20/2020.

And it probably is not a settled dispute, as Frazier’s attorney, David S. Pokela of Greensboro, answered a request for a comment on the decision, saying “I don’t comment on ongoing litigation.”

But between the opening gavel and the early-morning finale, the three attorneys—Pokela for Frazier, the appellate,  Boone attorneys Allen Moseley, representing the Town of Blowing Rock, and Jonathan Green, representing the closest property owners to the disputed property, Jack and Morgan Horner, debated points and history of Blowing Rock zoning law.  David Pokela questioned Blowing Rock Planning Director Kevin Rothrock at length about the sequences that lead to changes in the town ordinance, especially on the most recent changes that occurred in 2018, attempting to demonstrate that changes were made after Frazier purchased the property.

For a time, it appeared the town’s case might hinge on a single word from another North Carolina governing body as Rockingham County, in a Court of Appeals decision rendered Monday, took to task the term “use” as in “actual and intended use” in the local ordinance, a point to which attorney Pokela said “You have to read ‘intent’ out of this by implication,” pointing out that the Rockingham County decision “expressly excluded intent.”  It took some time for the attorneys to come to terms over Pokela’s fresh argument, but in the end, chairman Springs read several extensive sets of points and findings in the case, and the board voted unanimously to deny Frazier’s appeal.

Public Hearing Continues on Violation of Blowing Rock Short Term Rental Regulations

A quiet Blowing Rock neighborhood has found its tranquility challenged—some say ruined—by noise, traffic, by non-residents’ cars blocking access, and by strangers reportedly seen crossing adjacent properties day and night. Those complaints prompted action on the part of the Town of Blowing Rock, action centering on the apparent illegal use the property with the owner allowing short term renters.

The Town’s investigation into these complaints led to an order for the owner of 163 Wilmot Circle to stop short term rentals—defined as any rental of less than 28 days—that prompted owner, Chad Frazier, to retain a Greensboro attorney, filing an appeal to the Final Notice of Violation to the Blowing Rock Board of Adjustments. Frazier’s claim is that his property has a grandfathered right to make short term rentals of his three units at the Wilmot Circle address.  The property is just off Wallingford Street behind Rumple Presbyterian Church in an R-15 single-family residential zone, where short-term rental of property is not permitted in Blowing Rock.

The hearing that followed turned into a marathon five-plus hour session last month at Blowing Rock Town Hall attended by Frazier, impacted neighbors and their attorney, and a number of Blowing Rock residents concerned about damage that might result from a precedent setting expansion of short term rentals.

Chad Frazier and Atty David Pokela

But the ramifications surrounding short-term rentals are being felt across the state and country in towns large and small.

Short term rentals promoted by Airbnb and other major international companies have impacted –some say destroyed—a number of second home communities in the US. One community, Sedona, Arizona, is cited as an example as residents of the upscale community say they’re finding rental communities are destroying their home values.

While Blowing Rock has dealt with noise, traffic, and parking complaints on this particular property, Charlotte has seen short-term rental properties used for large parties, some ending in gunfire.  Last summer, WRAL reported that the Raleigh City Council approved rules for Airbnb rentals; including limiting them to two adult guests at any time and prohibiting the rental of more than two rooms in a home. The rules took effect in January, with violations bringing a $500 fine.

WRAL also noted that Asheville, Nags Head and other cities across the state also have adopted restrictions on short-term rentals for zoning and public safety reasons.

The Blowing Rock hearing is the continuation of the appeal to the Board of Adjustment by Chad Frazier, that after the BOA ruled against his petition regarding the legal use of the property, finding short-term rentals there to be in violation of town’s R-15 residential zoning.

On the state level, the Blowing Rock Civic Association and others from the High Country made their concerns known to 93rd District State Senator Ray Russell and other legislators when Airbnb and others began working with legislators on state-wide laws that would take away local control. But Russell’s office said that—for now—such efforts have failed in committee and no such proposal is currently on the table.

Blowing rock records show that the Wilmot Circle property was built in 1940 as a six-unit multi-family complex, and when zoning became law there in 1974, the property was zoned R-15, but was grandfathered as a non-conforming use. Board of Adjustment minutes show that the units were rented long term from early 1992 to February 2004. The record further shows that in May of 2004, Dr. Dan Wilson, who was then owner of the property, applied for a zoning permit, then that October, obtained a building permit for renovations.

The renovations reduced the number of dwelling units from six to three, thereby reducing—but not eliminating— the nonconformity. The report further said that, as far as the Planning and Inspections office was aware, the property was used for long-term rental until a complaint of short-term rental was received in 2014.

Records show that the property was sold in 2016 to Chad Frazier to be used as short-term rental, but with the change in ownership, the town contends that the property came out from under being grandfathered in the non-conforming use.  According to Town Manager Shane Fox, the town began receiving occupancy tax payments on the property, Fox noting that prior to that, there were no records of such tax payments from the previous owner.

Some of the town’s contentions in the matter are that Frazier failed to do due diligence on zoning or get rental records before making the purchase.

BOA Interim Chair E B Springs

The town’s actions took a turn when it was found that a 2018 amendment to the zoning law was not signed and recorded, and the town had to renew their action in the summer of 2019. Frazier renewed his appeal on the last day, prompting the quazi-judicial proceeding now underway.

Chad Frazier did not speak in last month’s session while his attorney questioned town planning and zoning officials late into the night, the session finally adjourning at 11pm.

Town Manager Shane Fox said the town will make their case mostly with four witnesses when the proceeding reconvenes Wednesday, February 19th, 5:30pm, and he said due to the large interest, it will be held in the American Legion Hall just behind the town offices.

Blowing Rock Occupancy Tax up 9.5%

Dear Friends of Blowing Rock,

Please read a recent article in the Watauga Democrat citing a 13.4% increase in occupancy tax in the county.

Blowing Rock’s growth in 2019 was 9.56 percent, up to $1.15 million from $1.05 million in 2018. Blowing Rock had two negative months in 2019 compared to 2018, March and June, while five months saw double-digit percentage growth in 2019. The biggest growth month for Blowing Rock was September 2019, which saw 25.99 percent growth over September 2018.

See the following link to the Watauga Democrat Article – https://www.wataugademocrat.com/news/visitor-dollars-up-in-watauga-county-occupancy-tax-proceeds-increase/article_ea69ca7e-00e6-5edc-8460-f38d179020ff.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share

As we know, an increase in overnight visitors who pay the hotel or STR occupancy tax have a more positive impact on the economy and quality of life in Blowing Rock than day visitors.

Tim Gupton
President