Blowing Rock Civic Association, Inc.
PO Box 2471
Blowing Rock, NC 28605
April 2, 2019
RE Rainey Lodge Conditional Use Permit
Honorable Mayor Sellers, Mayor Pro-Tem Yount, Council Members Matheson, Powell, Steele and Sweeting and Town Manager Freeman
We strongly support developments that benefit our residents and business community like the substantial developments that are now underway in Blowing Rock. We do, however, share your concern that every proposed development be carefully studied to assure that it will be, in fact, beneficial to our uniquely charming town and its residents and taxpayers.
Because of our concern about the community and specifically about our members who live in neighborhoods adjacent to the subject proposed development, the board of Blowing Rock Civic Association engaged the services of a professional planning consultant and attorneys to evaluate and document compliance of the proposed development with the Town’s Land Use Code.
We have attempted to assure that this project and future projects comply with the intent and rules established in the Town’s Land Use Code by:
1. Communicating to town residents and taxpayers and to their elected representatives all pertinent facts necessary to evaluating any significant project, especially in our historic downtown, and
2. Recommending improvements in the documentation required by the staff, Planning Board and council to evaluate compliance of proposed projects with the Land Use Code.
This project has the unique challenges of a sharply sloping lot and a location next to an established neighborhood with a number of residents and a very difficult traffic situation.
As you know, Code Section 16-4.10.3 enumerates the Findings of Fact that the applicant has the burden of proof to establish and the Council has a responsibility to specifically evaluate and document substantial evidence that any proposed development meets these requirements:
1. Maintain or promote public health, safety and general welfare
2. Comply with the Land Use Code
3. Is compatible with the particular neighborhood as demonstrated by the applicant
4. Will not substantially injure the value of adjoining property
5. Conforms to general plans of the Town as embodied in the Town ordinances and Comprehensive Plan.
To assist with your evaluation of the Conditional Use Permit, we recommend that you ask yourselves the following questions:
1. Has the developer submitted a 100% completed application or are there important details still to be determined?
2. To maintain or promote public safety has the developer produced compelling evidence during high volume seasonal traffic that the additional traffic generated by cars and delivery trucks will not present a safety hazard on Morningside and Rainey, neighborhood streets that are not suitable for commercial traffic? Has the developer received NCDOT approval of such a traffic study?
3. Has the developer produced evidence that public safety will not be impaired by the substantial additional traffic generated by his development at the intersections of Morningside and Highway 221 and Rainey and Main St. during high volume seasonal traffic? Has the developer received NCDOT approval of such a traffic study?
4. To maintain or promote public safety has the developer produced an independent detailed fire and rescue plan for his development during high volume seasonal traffic?
5. Has the developer produced independent evidence that traffic including delivery trucks and fire trucks can operate safely within the development and surrounding streets?
6. Has the developer produced independent evidence that the development will be compatible with the neighborhoods surrounding it?
7. Has the developer, as required by town code, produced an independent study to show that the development will not substantially injure the value of adjoining or abutting property?
8. Has the developer submitted sealed final plans for his proposed development? If not, then how do you know what exactly is being approved? Issuing a permit without sealed, completed plans would be like signing a very binding contract without all important details being included.
It will be very difficult for the town to control these important details once the permit is issued.
We request that the Council consider these Findings of Fact and require the applicant to complete their CUP application, identify any variances and resubmit to the Planning Board and Council.
William H. Carter, Vice President
Blowing Rock Civic Association