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 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

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



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

Brief Summary of Blowing Rock Civic Association’s Annual Meeting July 25, 2019

George Wilcox, President, welcomed a full Blowing Rock Country Club ballroom of BRCA members by stating  the BRCA mission: “TO PROTECT AND IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE IN BLOWING ROCK BY TAKING PROACTIVE STANDS ON CIVIC AFFAIRS, INFORMING, EDUCATING AND ENGAGING RESIDENTS ON KEY TOWN ISSUES; WORKING WITH LOCAL GOVERNMENT;  AND ENCOURAGING CITIZENS TO BE INVOLVED IN OUR COMMUNITY”  Our mission includes gathering and defining facts on matters impacting our town using extensive assistance of professionals, where necessary, and then communicating these facts to our community.

In attendance and recognized were Mayor Charlie Sellers, Albert Yount, Mayor Pro Tem, and Council Member Sue Sweeing.  BRCA Board members:  Bill Carter, Vice President, Betsy Wilcox, Secretary and Treasurer, Brian Beaty, Richard Gambill, Tim Gupton,  Karyn Herterich, Jean Kitchin, Dan McLamb, Blake Pace, Senator Tony Rand, Jim Scott and Julian West were recognized.

The minutes of the 2018 annual meeting were presented and approved on a motion by Julian West, seconded by Dan McLamb.

Julian West, head of the BRCA Finance Committee, reported on the Year end 2018 financials of BRCA  prepared by Blowing Rock accountant Orian Carter, EA.

Retired Judge Bob Burroughs introduced a resolution to increase the BRCA number of board members to fifteen by adding two new positions. He further nominated  Dr. Barry Buxton and Marshall Sealey to fill the new positions. The resolution (copy attached) further nominated all other board members whose terms were expiring to be elected to new terms.  Judge Burrough resolution also nominated Tim Gupton for election as President and CEO, George Wilcox as Chairman of the Board, and Betsy Wilcox Secretary/Treasurer for the next year.  BRCA member Dr. Charles Davant, III, moved that this resolution be adopted by acclamation. The motion was seconded by BRCA member Carol Dabbs. The motion was adopted unanimously by a show of hands.

Wilcox then recognized new Blowing Rock Town Manager Shane Fox who gave an excellent presentation on a number of important facts and issues impacting town government including:

1.        Blowing Rock has 67 employees and approximately 30 part time employees

2.       Blowing Rock homeowners are vitally important to the town, paying 85% of the town’s property taxes.

3.       There are 1200 to 1300 fulltime town residents with seasonal and day trippers adding up to 10,000 people additional people in town. This makes staffing very challenging to meet widely varying needs.

4.       He will remain vigilant on a move in the state legislature to end the town’s ability to regulate short term rentals in neighborhoods.

5.       He is working with AT&T and Spectrum to accomplish burying of utility lines and removal of utility poles from 321 adjacent to the Country Club and beyond, a project that has far exceeded promised completion date.

6.       He is also working with Watauga Co. to obtain fulltime ambulance emergency personnel  in Blowing Rock. This service has long been promised to the town by the county.

Fox also answered a number of member questions about town matters.

Interim Police Chief Aaron Miller then gave an excellent presentation on town police operations.

Both of these presentations and the entire meeting will be available soon on the BRCA website:

The meeting concluded with a superb presentation by newly elected BRCA President and CEO Tim Gupton who made the following points:

1.     The BRCA represents the entire community but it provides unique representation for the town’s homeowners, fulltime and seasonal, who are not represented by any other community organization in town.

2.     He intends to emphasize an important BRCA goal to serve as …”a unifying voice” in the community that has been split by a recent push to change town codes and the approval of the Rainey Lodge development.

The BRCA will sponsor a community meeting to hear from and ask questions of town candidates for Mayor and two council seats on Thursday evening October 3, 2019 starting at 5:30 P.M. at the American Legion Building on Wallingford St. in downtown.

Dr. Charles Davant, III, made a motion that the meeting be adjourned. Julian West seconded the motion that was approved unanimously.


























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

Watauga Democrat’s Review of the Town Council Meeting May 14, 2019 by Thomas Sherrill

Rainey Lodge public hearing finishes, council decision set for June 11
By Thomas Sherrill
May 15, 2019

BLOWING ROCK — After a combined 10 hours split between two meetings and a forced recusal of a council member, the quasi-judicial public hearing for the proposed Rainey Lodge hotel ended on May 14, but the Blowing Rock Town Council will decide the fate of the project at its next monthly meeting on June 11.

The project, developed by Grand Dakota Development — a limited liability corporation owned and operated by Stephen Barker, who also owns the tract of land — would construct a 40-room hotel on a 0.905-acre plot of commercially zoned land between Morningside Drive, Rainey Street and U.S. 221 in downtown Blowing Rock.

Rainey Lodge has faced opposition from a group of neighbors, who hired Stacy “Four” Eggers IV of Eggers Law Firm of Boone to contest the project as an intervening party. The group contends the project would diminish the value of their properties, cause additional traffic on residential roads and result in noise pollution due to a planned bar, outside seating and guest-room balconies.

The quasi-judicial public hearing starting at the April 9 town council meeting, lasting roughly five hours before being put on hold due to time.

At the resumption of the hearing on May 14, Chelsea Garrett of di Santi, Watson, Capua, Wilson & Garrett law firm in Boone, who is representing Grand Dakota Development, asked that Councilwoman Sue Sweeting be recused from the hearing due to an email she sent March 26 to N.C. Department of Transportation Engineer Mike Pettyjohn asking about traffic impact studies of the area, a point of legal contention on April 9.

Town Manager Jim Freeman said he advised council members of the rules before the March 21 Blowing Rock Planning Board meeting, which Sweeting attended. Per the rules of the quasi-judicial public hearings in Blowing Rock, council members act as a trial jury and may not solicit and receive input about the case outside of the public hearing. Council members told the public at the onset of the hearing on April 9 that they couldn’t talk about the case and couldn’t even read emails sent to them about it.

Sweeting denied Garrett’s request to recuse herself.

“I would have recused myself if I truly believed I did something wrong,” Sweeting said. “I have no fixed opinion on this. I trust my ability to be impartial.”

Garrett then asked the remaining council members to vote on recusing Sweeting from the hearing, per town code, which they did in a 3-1 vote. Council members Virginia Powell, Doug Matheson and Jim Steele voted in favor of recusal while Mayor Pro-Tem Albert Yount voted against Sweeting’s recusal.

“This is the hardest decision in my 10-year tenure,” Matheson said prior to the vote. “I hate that factors have put us against each other … a mistake was made and we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard.”

“I believe that Sue is a good councilperson with integrity,” Steele said prior to the recusal vote. “She made a mistake … this is important for everyone here.”

Sweeting will not be able to vote for or against the Rainey Lodge application on June 11.

After a lengthy back-and-forth discussion, council voted unanimously to reject Mary Shkut, an independent contractor and current village council member from Marvin, located in Union County, as an expert witness.

Shkut said she was hired in February by local activist nonprofit Blowing Rock Civic Association to provide feedback on the town’s code as it relates to zoning and ordinances. Shkut said she was later asked to provide feedback on the Rainey Lodge proposal.

In her closing statement later in the meeting, Garrett criticized the BRCA, saying they are well meaning, but have acted behind the scenes pulling strings and trying to impose their will on the council without directly getting involved. BRCA member Dan Phillips posted a blog on the association’s website on May 8, saying that the BRCA knows how to protect the town from developers while contending the organization is not against every proposed development.

Despite not being approved as an expert witness, Eggers was able to ask Shkut a question as a witness. Shkut said that in her opinion, the Rainey Lodge plan is not compatible with the residential neighborhood and said there was “a lot of lacking” in the application.

Powell protested that allowing Shkut to speak was “a waste of time,” wanting witnesses such as neighbors and residents to speak instead. Town attorney Allen Moseley allowed Eggers to ask Shkut questions, telling Powell that that they didn’t want to go through an appeal process.

The council also unanimously refused to admit Shkut’s written analysis into evidence as an exhibit.

Blowing Rock Planning Director Kevin Rothrock was called by Garrett, continuing where the April 9 meeting left off. Garrett asked Rothrock specifically about the application and whether it fit town code, to which Rothrock said it did in his determination.

Eggers requestioned Rothrock about his authority compared to the council’s. Rothrock said he is called upon to interpret the ordinance and in this case, would not provide a recommendation for council.

Newland-based real estate broker and appraiser Michael Lacey gave expert testimony for Eggers that there would be a substantial negative financial impact on the adjoining residential properties. Lacey said that even if Eggers wasn’t paying him as an expert witness, he would reach the same conclusions based on his findings. Garrett contended that Lacey, not having any numbers to support his thoughts, devalued his testimony.

Becky Browning, who lives on Rainey Street, said she doesn’t feel like the proposed development would lead to more cars on residential roads and people going right on Rainey.

Mark Crumpler said there would be more traffic on Morningside Drive trying to turn onto U.S. 221, plus he had concerns about food and beverage trucks going into the hotel lot.

Morningside Drive resident Lynda Lasseter said there would be damage to the neighborhood roads and that the hotel would be “out of place.” Marshall Sealey said the examples of boutique hotels for the town that are in the Comprehensive Plan are nothing like the Rainey Lodge proposal.

In his closing argument, Eggers asked the council what they wanted the community to look like.

“This project will set the standard for what Blowing Rock will look like,” Eggers said. “The roof sits six stories above (U.S.) 221; does that promote the reputation of Blowing Rock being the prettiest town in North Carolina?”

Eggers said the applicant did not meet the standard as required by town code for approval.

Garrett asked that the council review the record and said that it’s substantial and competent. Garrett said there’s been statements of support sent to the council and brought up that it was unanimously approved by the town’s planning board.

“The project complies, the application is complete, it will actually improve safety based on the testimony of a traffic expert,’ Garrett said. “Everything the way (Rainey Lodge) was designed was done for Blowing Rock.”

In other council matters, Blowing Rock Mayor Charlie Sellers thanked Jim Freeman for his service as interim town manager. Freeman’s last day is June 2 before new town manager Shane Fox takes over.



Blowing Rock Civic Association’s Response to Town Council Meeting May 14, 2019

Subject: Public Hearing on Proposed Rainey Lodge 40 Room Hotel & Restaurant in Downtown Blowing Rock Completed – Tipping Point

Blowing Rock Friends,

Tipping Point – Division versus Unity

This public hearing was a tipping point for Blowing Rock creating division rather than unity to protect our shared concerns for the future of our community, especially our historic downtown that is our leading economic development asset.   The issues raised during the hearing are not whether the community would benefit from a new hotel, but the polarization created by the developer friendly CUP process which didn’t allow for a full consideration of how the developer, the community, and council could work together for the best outcomes.

Unusual Actions – Attack on Council and Community

At the resumption of the public hearing on a permit for a 40 room hotel with restaurant, bar and patio service, the developer’s attorney, Chelsea Garrett, demanded that the Council vote to recuse Council Member Sue Sweetiing from the proceeding alleging that she had a bias against the project.  Council Member Sweeting adamantly stated she had no bias and could objectively consider the project.  Nonetheless, the Council voted to remove Council Member Sue Sweeting from participating in the Council’s decision on the project.  The pretext used by the developer’s attorney was Sweeting’s communication with the NCDOT to understand the NCDOT requirements for a project located on this site.  Attorney Four Eggers, who is representing a group of Morningside and Rainey residential neighbors in this process, raised strong objection to Sweeting’s removal citing laws governing recusals and objecting to the lack of opportunity to be heard on this issue.

Shortly thereafter Council was asked by the developer’s attorney to vote to exclude testimony from an expert witness who had done an extensive and documented study of the Rainey Lodge project finding that it failed to meet town codes in a number of ways. Blowing Rock Civic Association (BRCA) decided to hire a planning expert earlier this year to assist the board with understanding the Land Use Code and later to review this project. Her initial report was presented to the Planning Board when the board approved the project, but the Planning Board and action by the Council did not take advantage of the information.  BRCA also made her report available to the attorney for the Morningside & Rainey neighbors.  Why the Town Council wouldn’t even agree to listen to the concerns of this expert witness is a question that leads to some troubling conclusions.




In closing remarks, the developer’s attorney attacked BRCA for “pulling strings from behind the scenes” as a means to somehow discredit the legal challenge mounted by the neighbors.  Ordinary citizens are not normally organized and do not have the experience or individual resources to hire professionals to represent their interests. BRCA assisted the neighbors in a process that requires legal assistance and experts so that they could represent their interest against a well-funded developer and assure all facts were presented.

Goal of Blowing Rock Civic Association – Facts not Endorsement or Opposition

Blowing Rock Civic Association neither endorses nor opposes this or any project, but rather is committed to making sure all of the facts are available to the community and Council to use in making their decisions. Expert testimony to uncover all facts is critically important in the very developer friendly conditional use permit process that excludes citizen opinions.

BRCA’s Development Evaluation Committee issued positive reports on the 1150 Main Street project commencing in downtown on Main Street and Pine Street, The Inn on Cornish nearing completion on Blowing Rock Highway (221), and the Chestnut at Blowing Rock condominiums nearing completion at the old hospital site.  All variances were declared and on the table for review and approval by the Council.

Project Compliance – Form over Substance

While the developer has claimed from the beginning that the application totally meets the town code, the developer has amended the details of the project throughout the CUP hearing process to try and correct deficiencies raised by citizens.   The Planning Director has always supported the developer’s claim of compliance throughout the process, but the Council is responsible for the final decision based on the facts presented.   The developer hopes the Council will ignore or ‘interpret’ away non-compliance.  The developer’s attorney challenged all opposing facts presented by the neighbors and the community.

Members of the public including neighbors, citizens and a hotel owner cited concerns about the project. No one from the community spoke in favor of the project. The attorney for the neighbors presented evidence to support a conclusion that the developer did not meet the burden of proof required by the Findings of Fact.  The major facts that raise objections to this project are:

1.      The project does not comply with town code requiring 75% greenspace in the front of the building and all that parking be at the sides or back of the building.  The developer claims the primary entrance and lobby entrance (or front) is on Morningside Drive to gain the maximum height allowed with the setback, but not for the greenspace requirement which was used for parking rather than greenspace. This condition is clear in the Land Use Code and is not subject to interpretation and should have been declared as a variance when the application was submitted to the Planning Board.

2.      The market values of the surrounding homes will be negatively impacted by a large commercial building with this use and hours of operation.

3.      The project greatly exceeds the 24% maximum impervious surface requirement of town code.

4.      The project fails to adequately provide for fire trucks and tractor trailer delivery trucks to operate safely within the development and on to neighborhood streets that will be used for ingress and egress.

5.      The development fails to provide parking spaces that meet the code’s minimum design requirements.

6.      The overall height from the sidewalk on 221 is approximately 60 feet or 6 stories. The code requires that structures do not impede the scenic views of the natural environment.


The Council should not be intimidated by the legal risks threatened by the developer’s attorney as the code is clear:


The burden of establishing these findings of fact shall lie upon the applicant. In addressing the issue of compatibility, the applicant must demonstrate compatibility with the particular neighborhood in which the development or use is to be located. The fact that a use is authorized as a conditional use within a zoning district classification shall not give rise to a presumption that such conditional use is compatible with other uses authorized in the zoning district classification.

Next Steps – Improve the Process

The current CUP process is developer friendly, stacked against the citizens and restricts the judgment of the Town Council. This quasi-judicial process is essentially a trial that pits the developer against the community and puts a gag-order on the members of the Council.  Improvements are needed to achieve these key goals:

1.      Improve the checks and balances around review of project compliance by requiring a detailed compliance checklist to document conclusions and a second review by the Town Manager before presentation to the Planning Board;

2.      Replace or amend the CUP ordinances for downtown projects to allow property owners standing in the hearing process since our downtown, especially Main Street, affects the property values of all property owners;

3.      Make clear that the Town Council, rather than zoning staff, have the final word on what the ordinance they adopted actually means; and

4.      Establish a formal policy  for the Town Council, Planning Board, Board of Adjustment, and the Town Planning Staff to attend educational seminars offered through the North Carolina School of Government on these types of hearings so they are comfortable hearing from the citizens on these types of projects


Lynda’s Lasseter’s Comments on Rainey Lodge at Town Council Meeting May 14, 2019


BR Town Council Speech May 14, 2019, by Lynda Lasseter (not verbatim as delivered)


My name is Lynda Lasseter.  My husband and I live at 559 Morningside Drive 6 months of the year.  Our home has been in my family for 45 years.  Our home is not a vacation home; it is our second home.

First, a few questions:

How do you know that this proposal isn’t a sham and that the developer’s ultimate aim isn’t to convert the rooms into condo units, as he had previously proposed?

Is there any guarantee that the developer will not run out of money in the middle of construction?

Has a determination been made of whether firetrucks could get positioned to adequately fight fire at the property, or would it be in danger of burning down as did the Best Cellar?

There are several points I want to make:

First, this developer is attempting to skirt the building codes by claiming that the front of the building would be on Morningside Drive.  Clearly, the de facto front of the building faces US221.  Surely the only effective signage would face 221, not Morningside Drive.  And if the loading dock is at the back of the hotel, and the loading dock is on Rainny Street, then the front of the hotel must be on 221 !  And I don’t see signage on this scale model .  Surely the signage will be on 221.  It’s hard to imagine the hotel’s being advertised to cars passing on Mornigside Drive !  So I would argue that the limit on the building height must be determined starting from the elevation of 221.

Second, I don’t believe the commercial trucks can safely navigate the turn from Morningside Drive onto Rainey Street to make deliveries.

Third, damage to the roadways is a certainty.  Already, at the top end of the circle that Morningside Drive makes, construction vehicles have broken off the edge of the road, and trucks keep driving off the road into the drainage ditch.  You yourselves have like seen this happen on the other local streets.

Fourth, I understand that drivers leaving the hotel parking lot would be directed onto Morningside Drive toward 221.  Many of them would want to turn left onto 221; but during  peak traffic hours, that would be problematic because of the well-known backup of traffic on 221.  Once drivers realize this, they will leave the property using other routes, which means ignoring signs saying that only left turns are allowed.  Drivers will then use residential neighborhood streets.  “No right turn” instructions will not be enforceable, and so Sophocles wisely said, “What you cannot enforce, do not command.”

Finally, the project is incompatible with the surrounding neighborhood.  The proposed development is bordered on 2 sides by single family homes.  The visual impact will leave folks with the impression that it looks out of place, particularly given it’s proximity to the  historic district.  And if it does not fit…It has to git !!

I would ask those who are present and who are opposed to this project to please stand.

Thank you.



By Dan Phillips

It’s always fascinating to see what kind of information will sneak out from under a rock.

There is a Rumor circulating in Town concerning the Blowing Rock Civic Association.


The BRCA has not had its Computer Server, (located in George and Betsy’s Garage) hacked by the Russians.


The thoughts I will share, come from Serving a 4-year sentence on the Town Council, as well as being a merchant and homeowner.

The Leadership of the Town is being asked regularly by Developers and individuals to change Town Codes.

The developers have plenty of patience and money.

The current CUP (Conditional Use Permit) is a way to make changes to our Town Codes that may not be good for the Town.

We all have seen what Developers have done to or for communities.

This is where the BRCA comes into the picture.

The Real Rumor is that the BRCA is against everything being proposed in Town.

Not True!

Please be careful what you read or hear.

In my opinion they have done a great job of looking out for the Village.

The BRCA and its Board know what is happening in Town and know how to help us protect the Village.

If you want to know the details, don’t hesitate to ask.

As a Merchant our customers are worried about where the Town is headed.

Without the BRCA I would be a lot more worried.

Now the rumors can go back under the Rock.


Letter to the Editor 6/6/2019

Subject:  Very Important Decision on Downtown Blowing Rock Development Next Tuesday Night  5/14/2019

Dear Editor:

A 40 room hotel with restaurant and bar has been proposed for downtown Blowing Rock by a Charlotte developer who previously has developed a Ramada Inn in Dickinson, North Dakota. The proposed hotel, if approved by Blowing Rock Council, will be located on a less than one acre property back of the Speckled Trout restaurant.  This is a major decision for Blowing Rock. The following are facts concerning this project:

1.       The building would reach a height of 60 feet or six stories above Highway 221. The hotel would therefore be a very visible landmark in downtown standing much higher than other downtown buildings.

2.       A question by Council member Virginia Powell at the initial hearing on this project revealed that the developer’s plan that was presented as meeting all town codes does not meet town green space requirements for the area from the street to the building entrance. It was further revealed at the hearing that some of the parking places presented by the developer do not meet the size requirements of town code.

3.       A traffic study was presented by the developer that was done in November of 2018 in an attempt to show that the hotel with its 40 rooms, 1750 square feet restaurant and bar and 36 seats patio space would have little impact on neighborhood or town traffic either daily or from special events held at the hotel.

4.       The developer plans to have 53 onsite parking places in the development.

5.       The developer stated that estimated room rates for the proposed hotel have not yet been determined.

We urge all interested Blowing Rock citizens to attend next Tuesday’s important council meeting starting at 6:00 P.M. at Town Hall. A hearing on this major matter will resume at Tuesday’s meeting.  Any citizen can speak at this hearing after which council will vote to approve or deny the request for a permit for this development.


William H. Carter – Blowing Rock Civic Association