You can still Vote Early!

October 26, 2021

Dear Blowing Rock Homeowners,

You can still vote early!

One Stop Early Voting ends Saturday, Oct. 30 at 3 p.m. in Watauga County, but voters can also vote on Election Day Nov. 2. at Town Hall in Blowing Rock.

Voters can pick a day and time that works best for them by visiting one of the two early voting sites in Watauga County.

If a community member is not registered to vote, they can register to during the early voting period, but will need to bring proof of residence in Watauga County.

If a community member has moved recently, their information can easily be updated during early voting. There are two early voting sites. The first is at the Watauga County Administration Building, located at 814 W. King Street and is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Remember that you can see and listen to our candidates share their views on five key issues important to homeowners.

Go to https://www.brcivic.org/videos/  to see videos – Homeowner Candidate Forum

Your support and membership is always appreciated.  If you find our post informative, please become a member at https://www.brcivic.org/become-a-member/

Regards,

Tim Gupton

Neighborhood Meeting with Developer of Hotel Project on Pine Street and Laurel Lane

October 25, 2021

Dear Blowing Rock Homeowners,

A neighborhood meeting with the developer will be held at Town Hall on  Wednesday, October 27th, at 5 PM to review a proposed project to build a hotel on the .337 acre site at Pine Street and Laurel Lane.  The proposed project is behind the new 1150 Main Street building.

The project will will be a Conditional Rezoning Permit that will be reviewed by the Planning Board  in November. Since the project is a Conditional Rezoning Permit application, the community will be able to provide input if the project comes before the Town Council.

The project will have 14 “hotel rooms” but it is unclear at this point how many “sleeping rooms” are included in each “hotel room”. We have asked that the developer provide floorplans.

One key question will be the calculation of required parking spaces for the number of guests that the “hotel rooms” will accommodate. As we know, parking in Downtown is difficult and we believe the intent of the Land Use Code requires adequate on site parking for all hotel or short term rental properties.   The definition of a “hotel room” and a “bedroom” has been a matter of concern for other projects.  In the final analysis, the property should have  on on site parking to accommodate the number of occupants that are being marketed to customers.

Please consider attending to learn first hand.

Regards,

Tim Gupton

 

 

October 20, 2021

Dear Blowing Rock Homeowners

The Planning Board will meet tomorrow, October 21st at 5:30 PM, to  review a proposed re-development of a site on Valley Boulevard called “The Scotchman”.  The property was acquired by the DOT when 321 was constructed and then sold as surplus property. The site was an old convenience store and gas station.

The application is a Special Use Permit – 2021-6.  The public can speak at the Planning Board, but only adjacent property owners can speak at the quasi-judicial meeting of the Town Council if the project is approved by the Planning Board.

 

The staff report from Planning Director Kevin Rothrock follows:

Project:                       CUP 2021-06 Old Scotchman – Retail
Meeting Date:                        October 21, 2021
Applicant:                   High Country Manor, LLC
Staff:                           Kevin Rothrock, Planning Director

REQUEST

High Country Manor, LLC is requesting a Special Use Permit to renovate the old Scotchman building at 7815 Valley Blvd for a retail beer and wine shop.  The parking area is being redesigned and the roof is being modified along with changes to the front façade.  The property is zoned GB, General Business and is located in the WS-IV water supply watershed. The property is further identified by Watauga County PIN 2817-17-2803-000.

SITE PLAN

The proposed site is a redevelopment of the former Scotchman gas station and convenience store. The property was purchased by NCDOT through the 321 widening project. After the road was completed, the property was placed on the real estate market and purchased by Britt Medley.

For the proposed retail use 15 parking spaces are required and the applicant is providing 15 parking spaces with one being ADA accessible. Access to the parking will utilize the existing driveway cuts on Valley Blvd, but will be limited to one-way traffic flow from south to north.

Storm Water Management

The development of the site will result in reduced impervious surfaces through additional landscape areas placed in areas previously paved.  Additional drainage pipes will be installed to pick up the water that collects in the rear of the building. These pipes will be connected to the NCDOT catch basin on the corner of Hwy 321.

ARCHITECTURAL

The building will be renovated by removing the parapet roof and constructing a new metal roof. Two garage doors are proposed to be added to the front of the building along with two dormers and middle roof structure with stone columns at the entrance.

The existing stone on the building will remain and the building colors and trim will be complimentary to the stone.
 

 

 

BRCA HOMEOWNER CANDIDATE FORUM

Blowing Rock
Town Council Candidates
Homeowner Forum

Learn what the candidates for your Town Council think about five important issues.

Please go to a link on our website athttps://www.brcivic.org/videos/ to see and hear town council candidates sharing their views on these five key issues:

      24/7 Transport Ambulance
Downtown Vision – West Main Street
Special Use Permits
Tourism Congestion
Funding for Tourism Expenses

Blowing Rock Civic Association produced these videos to help raise voter awareness and understanding of issues affecting the citizens in Blowing Rock.

 

 

Copyright © 2021 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

Add us to your address book

 

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

 

Town Council Agenda – October 12 2021

October 9, 2021

Dear Blowing Rock Homeowners,

The agenda for the Town Council meeting on October 12, 2021 at 6 PM has been released.

The agenda package is available for review on the Town’s website at the following link.

https://www.townofblowingrocknc.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/10629

Key topics on the agenda are:

PRESENTATIONS
1. Police Traffic Enforcement Update – Chief Aaron Miller
2. Green Hill Traffic Study –  Ramey Kemp and Associates
3. Stormwater Quality – Mosaic Civic Studio.

PUBLIC HEARING:
1. Downtown Density – #2021-12 Planning Director Kevin Rothrock

REGULAR AGENDA:
1. PARTF Update and Memorial Park Bathrooms  – Parks & Rec Director Jennifer Brown, Council Member David Harwood and Town Engineer Doug Chapman
2. Wastewater Road Culvert Repair Parks – Town Engineer Doug Chapman and Public Works Director Matt Blackburn

AED Defibrillator – Save Lives!

October 8, 2021

Dear Blowing Rock Homeowners,

The Blowing Rock Country Club shared an important video with us to make available to our community so that we may learn how to save a life.

I am sure you have all heard or seen an AED Defibrillator, so let’s learn what and how to use the device.

 

Watch the Instructional Video

Jean Kitchin, Communication and Marketing Committee Chair, and Kathy Graham, Director of Fitness, at the Blowing Rock Country Club were kind enough to create a brief instructional video on how to use an AED defibrillator.

Knowing how to use one could save a life.

Please click the link below to watch. Thank you!

https://www.brcivic.org/videos/

 

What is an AED Defibrillator?

An AED, or automated external defibrillator, is used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. It’s a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use, medical device that can analyze the heart’s rhythm; and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm.

Why learn to use one?

Sudden cardiac arrest is among the leading causes of death in the United States. In fact, more than 350,000 people will suffer a cardiac arrest this year. Currently, the only way to restore a regular heart rhythm during cardiac arrest is to use an AED.

The average response time for first responders once 911 is called is 8-12 minutes, and for each minute defibrillation is delayed, the odds of survival are reduced by approximately 10%. Having access to and AED and knowing how to use one is critical.

 

 

 

 

321 Noise & Traffic Petition

September 30, 2021

Dear Blowing Rock Homeowners:

Recently a group of citizens have formed a committee to request the Blowing Rock Town Council to address ongoing noise and traffic concerns on Highway 321.

We need your help to express your concern to the Town Council. So far 238 residents have signed the petition.  Please consider signing the petition if you haven’t already.

The group intends to present the petition to the Town Council at the October meeting to request a written response to document an action plan to address  all of the  recommendations.  Enforcement of the actual 35 MPH speed limit is foremost.

The issues are more pronounced around the Green Park and Gideon Ridge areas but are also affecting South Main Street and the neighborhoods overlooking or located on 321 between the Country Club and North Main Street.

The committee asked the Blowing Rock Civic Association to share the information and petition and request that you consider signing the petition on Change.org. Change.org is a nonprofit organization that offers a software platform for organizations to use in obtaining petitions to invoke change.

The link is https://chng.it/VNCNfjxQ

The content of the petition is repeated below.

Regards,

Tim Gupton
President

Petition on Change.org 

We, the undersigned, respectfully request that the Blowing Rock Town Council use every tool at its disposal, and take substantial, active measures to alleviate the noise, and speeding (contributory to the noise) along Rt. 321.  Various suggestion have previously been made to the Council.  These include, but are not limited to:

1.       Painting large (i.e. 10 ft. high) “35 MPH” lettering on the roadway entering Blowing Rock on Rt. 321, in both directions, and at intervals throughout the bypass.
2.       Posting “Speed Radar Enforced” signs at the entrance to town on Rt. 321 as well as along the bypass.
3.       Purchasing multiple, additional speed monitoring units that flash red and blue when the traveling speed exceeds the posted limit (35 MPH).
4.       Training the town police officers to pull over tractor trailers, with the support of the State Police, if necessary, and making active efforts to pull over and to ticket speed violating tractor trailers.
5.       Purchasing decibel meters, and training the Blowing Rock Police to correctly utilize this equipment in order to support adherence to NC Statute 20-128, and to step up enforcement actions in this regard.
6.       Installing signage “Vehicles generating excessive noise violate NC statute 20-128 and will be ticketed”
7.       Requesting that the DOT authorize “Entering Green Park Historic District” BROWN SIGNS at both entrances to the Historic District, and posting “speed radar enforced” signs proximate to these signs.
8.       Communicating with the local judicial authorities (involving the State government, if necessary) regarding the urgency of the situation and requesting that they no longer take the position that up to 10 MPH over the speed limit is not speeding.
9.        Hiring additional law enforcement personnel dedicated to patrolling the bypass (recruiting part time, off duty personnel from other localities if necessary).

Numerous property owners do not currently enjoy the peaceful use of their properties, and there is strong evidence to suggest that property values have declined in many areas of our community due to the issues outlined here. Numerous business along 321 are also struggling with guest and customer complaints because of this worsening problem.  And, every resident of the Town of Blowing Rock is aware that US Hwy 321 through Blowing Rock has become nothing more than a commuters corridor, traversed, daily, by vehicles with little to no connection to our beautiful town, nor with any intention to “stop and smell the roses” that Blowing Rock, the Crown of the Blue Ridge offers.

It is past time for the Council to actively engage in resolving these problems.  Numerous property and business owners stand ready to support the Council in these actions by offering examples of towns wherein each and every one of our stated recommendations have been implemented.  In short, simply responding that “we’re doing everything we can” is no longer an acceptable position.  More has to be done, and more can be done.

Green Hill Traffic Study

October 1, 2021

Dear Blowing Rock Homeowners,

The report on Green Hill Traffic Study has been released in draft form.

You can review the draft report at the following link.  https://www.brcivic.org/reports/

You can also read an article about the report in the Blowing Rocket at the following link. https://www.wataugademocrat.com/blowingrocket/green-hill-road-traffic-study-suggests-minimal-problems/article_5de89f13-bf6b-5a79-b122-dd1534f9611f.html

Our understanding is that the Town Council will discuss the report at the October meeting.

Speeding and noise has become a major concern on main and neighborhood roads around Town raising safety and quality of life issues for residents.  This report is a step in the process to evaluate improvements in public safety measures by the Town.

Regards,

Tim Gupton
President

LEGISLATIVE ALERT – SHORT TERM RENTAL LEGISLATION ATTACKS LOCAL CONTROL

CONTACT GOVERNOR COOPER 

https://governor.nc.gov/contact/contact-governor-cooper

September 30, 2021

Dear Governor Cooper,

We need your help!

Proponents of short term rental business  have been relentless in proposing legislation to the Senate and House over the last few years to override local control of zoning related to short term rentals to the determent of homeowners in established quiet neighborhoods. The long term goal appears to be elimination of any local restrictions on short term rentals thereby threatening the quality of life in long established neighborhoods.

We have worked with the Town of Blowing Rock and the League of Municipalities to track legislation and try to educate legislators on the negative impact of proposed legislation on small resort towns like Blowing Rock.  We enjoy both the benefits of homeownership in established neighborhoods and short term rental ownership in designated downtown districts.

We understand that you will soon be discussing the 2021 Appropriations Act with the leadership of the General Assembly.  We ask that you negotiate for removal of Sections 5.15(a) and (b) entitled PERIODIC INSPECTIONS FOR HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS.

These sections are unrelated to budget applicable matters and also to the title attached to them.  Instead, they would deny local governments the ability to regulate with permits or registration requirements the short term rental of residential real property. As drafted, the provision would have retroactive as well as prospective effect and would make void and unenforceable any existing inconsistent ordinances, without regard to how long they have been in effect or the type of community they affect. The text of Section 5.15 is lifted from bills that passed the House earlier this year (H829 and H911) with substantial opposition and currently reside in the Senate Rules committee. Given their significant impact on the many resort communities in our state, they deserve a full debate on the merits and the opportunity for amendment, rather than slipping into effectiveness via the back door of the budget bill.

With respect to the merits of the legislation, there are many issues presented, including the following:
(1) Zoning permits and exceptions are inherently local matters and, as a general matter, not appropriate for statewide control;
(2)  The impact of the legislation will primarily be felt in NC resort communities which have very different histories and current situations with respect to short term rentals. Our coastal communities have a long history of short term (generally by the week) rental activity while our mountain resort communities tend to attract more long term (monthly and full season) rentals.
(3)  Where they exist, current local regulations generally try to strike a balance between allowing what is essentially commercial activity in commercial areas and limiting those activities in areas that are zoned residential and contain mostly owner-occupied homes or homes occupied by long term renters. To the extent that local property owners would like to strike a different balance, this can be accomplished at the local level.  For the state to paint all of our communities with one brush fails to take into account the unique aspects that make each of our resort communities attractive to those who choose them.
(4)  There are serious questions about the impact of increased and largely unregulated short term rental activity in established residential neighborhoods on property values in those areas.  Changing a community’s character with noise, speed and volume of traffic, parking unavailability, and excessive trash are all associated with short term rentals, and do nothing to preserve or enhance property values.  On the other hand, property owners who own property that is not subject to restrictive covenants may wish to be able to rent it, either long term and short term.  Balancing property values against property rights is best handled at the local level where neighborhood character and history and desires of actual property owners are better known and ascertainable.

These and other issues raised by Section 5.15 deserve serious consideration. This can be accomplished by allowing the existing House bills to run their course in the Senate in the remainder of the session.  Allowing these provisions to ride the coattails of the Appropriations Act without that opportunity would be a disservice to communities throughout the state.

Regards,

Tim Gupton

Tim Gupton, President, 919-418-8555,  info@brcvici.org 
Board of Trustees,    https://www.brcivic.org/board-of-directors/
Blowing Rock Civic Association, Inc.
PO Box 2471
Blowing Rock, NC 28605

The Art of Elliott Dangerfield 

September 29, 2021

Dear Blowing Rock Homeowners,

We are  delighted to make available a recent presentation by Tim Miller, owner of Blowing Rock Frameworks & Gallery, about the life of Elliott Daingerfield (1859-1932.  Jean Kitchin arranged for us to produce the video of the event that was hosted at the Blowing Rock Country Club.

We all love Dangerfield’s works of art and his influence on our village.

Tim did an excellent job telling the story of Daingerfield’s interesting life, and he includes many details about the time he spent in Blowing Rock.  Miller also shares three original works of Daingerfield’s art that are from local collections.

You can watch the video at https://www.brcivic.org/videos/