Blowing Rock Board of Adjustments Hearing – Short Term Rental Violation at 163 Wilmot Circle

January 25, 2020

Dear Friends of Blowing Rock,

A very important hearing of a violation of town short term rental regulations lasted five hours on Thursday night, January 23rd at Blowing Rock Town Hall. The hearing is a quasi-judicial proceeding.

Civic Association board members were in attendance. The hearing with lawyers in abundance resumes at 5:30 P.M. Wednesday February 19th at Town Hall.

Several Civic Association homeowners of adjacent and nearby properties have complained to the Town about obnoxious activities of short term renters at the subject property. The rental property has three units in a building that sits on a very poorly maintained gravel street maintained by the property owner. This street intersects with Wallingford St. back of the Rumple Presbyterian Church.

The current owner of the subject property has been renting primarily through AIRBNB in disregard of Town restrictions against short term rentals in this residential section. They disturb the otherwise quiet and historical area. Tenants walk through neighbor lawns even with posted no trespassing signs.

In the fall of 2018 the Town issued a notice to the property owner to immediately cease short term rentals. The owner appealed this notice to the Board of Adjustments that conducted a hearing on this matter in January 2019.

The Board ruled unanimously in support of the Town’s restriction. Our understanding is that subsequently a lawyer for the property owner claimed that pertinent paperwork concerning this matter had not been appropriately executed by the Town and he advised that the board’s ruling would be appealed to the courts.

We also understand that in response to the appeal from the property owner’s attorney, the Town’s attorney wrote the owner a letter nullifying the Board of Adjustment decision.

The property owner continued his short term rentals prompting numerous new complaints by neighbors. The town again took action against the subject property owner that led to this current proceeding the Board of Adjustments.

THIS DECISION IS VERY IMPORTANT TO THE FUTURE OF BLOWING ROCK AND POSSIBLY A PRECEDENT SETTING CASE ON SHORT TERM RENTALS.

WE ALL NEED TO KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON THIS MATTER.

George Wilcox,
Chairman

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