Holiday Greetings

Holiday Greetings

Blowing Rock Civic Association

We wish you a joyous Christmas and healthy New Year

Photo courtesy of Lonnie Webster

 

 

 

Public Presentation of Sustainable Tourism Management Plan for Blowing Rock  

December 1, 2021

Dear Blowing Rock Homeowners,

BLOWING ROCK, N.C. (December 2021) – This past summer, the Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority (TDA) commissioned an in-depth study of Blowing Rock as a preliminary step toward a Sustainable Tourism Management Plan. Professional researcher and facilitator Roger Brooks of the Destination Development Association was hired to help the TDA and the Town of Blowing Rock coordinate the effort required to create this plan. In July of 2021, Mr. Brooks interviewed numerous residents and business owners while spending the month in town to learn about Blowing Rock first-hand.

The Sustainable Tourism Management Plan is intended to address challenges with parking and traffic flow, infrastructure, pedestrian movement, and strain on local and natural resources. Mr. Brooks made some preliminary suggestions before his departure this summer, but the completed plan will offer action lists, budgets, and funding sources for all recommendations.

On Wednesday, December 8, Mr. Brooks will return to present Blowing Rock’s Sustainable Tourism Management Plan to the public. The presentation will begin at 5:30pm at Town Hall. A live stream of the event will be available on the Town of Blowing Rock’s YouTube channel (where Council Meetings are streamed).

“The Blowing Rock TDA is excited to see the final results of a nearly year-long endeavor to better understand our tourism product and the challenges we’re facing. The success of Blowing Rock is dependent on our tourism industry and we want the industry to benefit everyone in our community. This research and ultimately a Sustainable Tourism Management Plan will help us reach that goal.” said Tracy Brown, Director of the Blowing Rock TDA.

“I’m really looking forward to my third trip to beautiful Blowing Rock” Brooks said about his return visit. “This time in early winter, giving me an opportunity to see the community in every season,”

Brooks also noted that “It’s the sum of all the small parts that creates an outstanding experience for both visitors and locals alike.”

At the workshop, Brooks said he will showcase a few of the key solutions that will help mitigate the effects of a successful tourism destination and how it impacts local residents.

For more information about the presentation, study, or the management plan, contact Tracy Brown at the Blowing Rock TDA, 828-295-4636 or tbrown@visitblowingrock.com.

Honor, Service & Lessons – 2021 Veteran’s Day

November 18, 2021

Dear Blowing Rock Homeowners,

Last Saturday at the American Legion Building, Blowing Rock honored our veterans.  American Legion Post 256 Commander Albert Yount and Post Adjutant Jim West hosted the event, Shirley Snyder shared how her husband and residents founded and built the American Legion Post, and Town Manager Shane Fox share the history and documents about the community commitment that led to the American Legion Building that we enjoy today.

NC Native Son, U.S. Army Major General (Retired) Charles H. Swannack gave the keynote address sharing his experience and views as a leader at the highest levels of government.

You can watch the entire service on our website at https://www.brcivic.org/videos/ or read an article in the Blowing Rocket at https://www.wataugademocrat.com/blowingrocket/news/lessons-few-civilians-receive/article_f4dc5fd0-6e1c-5cd0-8197-abe6aec429d0.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share

Regards,

Tim Gupton

Veteran’s Day

November 7, 2021

Dear Blowing Rock Homeowners,

Veterans Day is a tribute to military veterans who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Not to be confused with Memorial Day, which honors those who died while in service, Veterans Day honors all military veterans, including those still with us.

At the request of Post Commander Albert Yount,  George Wilcox invited Major General Charles Swannack, U.S. Army Retired) to be the featured speaker at the Blowing Rock American Legion’s Veteran’s Day Program on Saturday November 13, 2021, at 11:00 A.M. at the American Legion Building.

Albert  is the Post Commander at Blowing Rock Legion Post 256.  Albert has been the anchor to keep Post 256 alive and well. Post 256 provides assistance for young persons seeking admission to the Boys National Program and conducts services with patriotic songs and other ceremonies in Blowing Rock Memorial Park on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.  Each year Post 256 places more than 600 American flags on the final resting places of deceased American veterans at 17 local cemeteries each Memorial Day.

General Swannack was our top General in Iraq shortly after the American invasion of that country. He also saw action in Bosnia and Panama among his many assignments. He is a decorated veteran who is very active in programs and organizations that assist our military veterans.

One of these organizations under his leadership provided a rescue dog to a veteran struggling with PTSD. This dog was funded by Blowing Rock residents Marty and Ted Couch, Pam and Leigh Dunston, Laurin and Bill Carter and Betsy and George Wilcox.

Albert has asked George to introduce the General at the ceremony. The tribute to our veterans should  be a great community event next Saturday morning, so please mark your calendar.

The General’s biographical information is provided below. He is a native North Carolinian from Winston Salem.

Regards,

Tim Gupton

Major General Charles H. Swannack Jr., U.S. Army (Retired)

Major General Charles H. (Chuck) Swannack, Jr. was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry from the United States Military Academy on 9 June 1971.  He has proudly served his Nation for thirty plus years in command and staff positions at every level from platoon to Department of the Army.

Prior to retiring, MG Swannack commanded the 82nd Airborne Division from October 2002-May 2004.  During this time, he provided forces to Combined Joint Task Force-180 for combat operations in Afghanistan, and he personally led the Division during combat operations from Kuwait to Baghdad and later civil-military operations in Al Anbar Province, western Iraq.

Prior general officer assignments include: Commanding General of Multinational Division (North) and Task Force Eagle during Operation JOINT FORGE (SFOR 11) in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where he oversaw implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords; Commanding General of the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, where he was the senior trainer for all Light, Airborne, Air Assault, Ranger and Special Forces units in the Army; and Deputy Director for Strategy, Plans and Policy within the Deputy    Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, Headquarters, Department of the Army.  His initial assignment as a general officer was with the 82nd Airborne Division as the Assistant Division Commander (Operations).

As a Brigade Commander, MG Swannack deployed to Haiti for peacekeeping operations during Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY.  He also served in the Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate, J5, the Joint Staff, where he was instrumental in developing and executing US strategy and policy for Central America and the Caribbean Basin.  As a Battalion Commander, he deployed to Panama during Operation NIMROD DANCER and subsequently participated in combat operations during Operation JUST CAUSE.

MG Swannack is a graduate of Capstone and the National War College.  He holds a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
His decorations include the Legion of Merit (6OLC) and Bronze Star Medal (1OLC).   He proudly wears the Combat Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge and the Ranger Tab.
Initially in retirement, MG Swannack provided consultation services to multiple defense corporations and primarily served in the capacity of a trainer, coach and mentor to Brigade Combat Teams preparing to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan.

From 2010-2013, he served as CEO of the Logistics Services Division, Louis Berger Services (formerly US Logistics, Inc.) a $50MM veteran logistics services company where he managed the transformation of US Logistics from an entrepreneurship located in Fayetteville NC to a fully functioning corporation able to join the parent company in Greenville SC.

In early 2014, MG Swannack joined Speedway Motorsports as Executive Director for Speedway Children’s Charities, a 501c (3) nonprofit, with the mission of assisting underprivileged children to become productive adults.

In early 2019, MG Swannack was named Vice President, Armed Forces Affairs and now leads an initiative “Welcome Home Patriots” to improve the lives of post-servicemen and servicewomen.
He also serves as President of the Patriot Military Family Foundation in Mooresville NC, and actively supports many other military charities as a means of “giving back” to those who served him so well during his military career.

MG Swannack is married, has twin children and eight grandchildren.

Town Council Agenda – November 9 2021

November 6, 2021
.
Dear Blowing Rock Homeowners,

The Town Council will meet on November 9th at 6 pm at Town Hall.

The minutes of the prior meeting include an approval to eliminate “density” requirements from the Land Use Code for Downtown. We attended the Planning Board meeting to approve the change and added a public comment that we agreed with the recommendation since the factors determining “density” are parking, setbacks, height, greenspace and use.  This step in amending the Downtown Land Use Code highlights the need to update the Land Use Code to address the specific goals for each Downtown District and especially to reconcile the Land Use Code for West Main Street (Memorial Park)  with the recommendation in the 2014 Comprehensive Plan to honor the historic nature of West Main Street to respect diversity of setbacks and architecture and greenspace.  Without this change, the remainder of West Main Street will over time look like 1150 Main Street which is setback only 15 feet from  the sidewalk and has essentially no greenspace.  The community and Town Council should discuss and come to a consensus similar to the effective process used for the Valley Boulevard Vision Process.  We recommend and hope that the Town Council will include this very important priority on their Winter Retreat Agenda.

Of note for homeowners are agenda items approve a resolution supporting a traffic signal at Highway 321 and Rock Hill Road, to discuss a three-way stop sign at Fairway 11 and Green Hill Road and to set a date for the Winter Retreat.

The agenda and supporting documents can be reviewed at https://www.townofblowingrocknc.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/10644/637717298683714877

I. CALL TO ORDER – ROLL CALL FOR ATTENDANCE

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES & REGULAR AGENDA ADOPTION

IV. PUBLIC COMMENTS V. CONSENT AGENDA:
1. Budget Amendment
2. NCDOT Spotlight Highway 321/Rock Rd./Green Hill Rd Resolution
3. LGC Debt Resolution 4. Tax Releases Mayor and Council

VI. PRESENTATION:
1. TOBR Annual Audit Martin Starnes and Associates and Finance Director Nicole Norman

VII. PUBLIC HEARING:
1. Scotchman SUP – #2021-06 Planning Director Kevin Rothrock

VIII.REGULAR AGENDA:
1. Fairway 11/Green Hill Rd 3-Way-Stop
2. Retreat Date and Location
3. COVID Update – Town Manager Shane Fox Town Manager Shane Fox and App Health Director Jen Greene

IX. OFFICIALS REPORTS & COMMENTS:
1. Mayor
2. Council Members
3. Town Attorney
4. Town Manager
X. CLOSED SESSION – None
XI. ADJOURNMENT/RECESS

State of the Town

November 6, 2021

Dear Blowing Rock Homeowners,

Please mark you calendar to attend the State of the Town event sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce Thursday, November 18th at 5:30 pm in the American Legion Building on Wallingford Street. The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce’s Community, Government & Education Committee in partnership with the Town of Blowing Rock invites all residents and business owners to attend the annual State of the Town event.

The event is usually scheduled during the summer months was postponed due to COVID concerns this summer.

Many homeowners have left for the season, but the event will be recorded for anyone who cannot attend. The link to the You Tube video can be found on the Chamber’s website http://www.LoveBlowingRock.com or the Town of Blowing Rock’s website http://www.TownofBlowingRock.com

Attend or view the video to learn about exciting current and future projects in the Town of Blowing Rock as well as look at the economic indicators. The Town’s report will be presented by Mayor Sellers and Town Manager, Shane Fox.

Charles Hardin will update the audience on the current projects and initiatives of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce and the Village Foundation.

Tracy Brown, Executive Director of Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority will present the initiatives of the Authority along with year end occupancy numbers and how COVID 19 has affected tourism and marketing of the Village.

This year the Chamber is  pleased to host Chuck Mantooth, President and CEO of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System to provide an update on the Watauga Medical Center expansion project. This has been a major point of interest with the active construction site.

This special event will bring everyone up to date on various projects taking place around Town and the Chamber of Commerce’s events and programs.

Questions will be taken in advance via email to HardinCE@BlowingRock.com so that the speakers can ensure that all areas of interest are addressed. Additional questions will also be taken at the conclusion of the presentations.

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

 

 

Paul H. Broyhill Community Service Award – Southern Gateway Greenspace

Paul H. Broyhill Community Service Award

Blowing Rock Civic Association, Inc.

Southern Gateway Greenspace
Harper Sisters – Friends & Neighbors

Broyhill Park
September 16, 2021

Enjoy video presentation at https://www.brcivic.org/videos/

A mutual love of Blowing Rock resulted in a commitment to stewardship and  significant conservation achievement through the leadership of residents in co-operation and partnership with the Winkler Organization, Town of Blowing Rock, Village Foundation, Blowing Rock Civic Association
and NC Land Trusts advisors

 

 

Wayne Vason, Lee Harper Vason, John Winkler & Anne Harper Bernhardt

Town Council Meeting Agenda – September 16 2021

September 11, 2021

Town Council Agenda

Dear Blowing Rock Homeowners,

The Town Council will meet on Tuesday, September 14th, at 6PM.

The summary agenda is provided below.

You can read the entire meeting package at the following link to the Town’s website.

https://www.townofblowingrocknc.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/10567

The Council will consider Mrs. Powell’s resignation, conduct a public hearing on Green Hill Estates Subdivision after approval by the Planning Board with conditions and consider a parking adjustment requested by the new owners of the Moody Building on Sunset Drive to accommodate conversion of the building to 2 short term rental units and retail.

AGENDA
1. CALL TO ORDER – ROLL CALL FOR ATTENDANCE Mayor Charles Sellers

2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE Mayor Charles Sellers

3. SPECIAL ITEM, MINUTES & AGENDA
1. SPECIAL ITEM – Virginia Powell – Resignation
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – By Roll Call 1. August 10, 2021 – Regular Meeting Minutes 2. August 24, 2021 – Special Meeting
3. REGULAR AGENDA ADOPTION – Mayor & Council Mayor & Council Mayor & Council Mayor & Council

4. PUBLIC COMMENTS

5. PUBLIC HEARING: – Green Hill Estates Subdivision Planning Director Kevin Rothrock

6. REGULAR AGENDA
1. 140 Sunset LLC – Planning Director Kevin Rothrock Mayor and Council
2. COVID Discussion

7. OFFICIALS REPORTS & COMMENTS: 1. Mayor 2. Council Members 3. Town Attorney 4. Town Manager

8. CLOSED SESSION – Pursuant to NCGS 143-318.11. (a)(5) Discussion of potential property acquisition.

Regards,

Tim Gupton
President