August 16, 2021
Dear Blowing Rock Homeowners,
On August 19th, The Planning Board will be reviewing a Special Use Permit (SUP) for new 10 lot subdivision on Green Hill Road, called Green Hill Estates.
We are trying to make the community aware of proposed projects as soon as we have information to share. The window is generally very short as the agendas are published usually Friday before a meeting on the following Thursday. The time to react is very short when the project is a SUP rather than a Special Zoning Permit (SZP) that essentially encourages community input.
As you now know, a SUP is a quasi-judicial hearing process by the Town Council after approval by the Planning Board. Remember that Rainey Lodge and Heather Ridge were long and contentious examples of the quasi-judicial approval process that does not allow the community to communicate with the Town Council. Anyone who comments must have standing and realistically representation by legal counsel to compete with developers who use the SUP process to their advantage. So, basically your comments can only be considered at the Planning Board Meeting this Thursday. All major subdivision approvals are SUP so the developer really has no other alternative other than to voluntarily call a meeting of the community to gain input before submitting the project to the Planning Board which was not done in this case.
The agenda for this project and the supporting documents are available for you to review on the Town’s website at https://www.townofblowingrocknc.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/10557/637644579461184289
The project is in the watershed and comes at a time when the Town and community is awaiting the Green Hill Traffic Study. We have learned that the Land Use Code does not require much in the way of protecting the watershed and is focused on quantity of water rather than quality of water. Declaration of variances is an important fiduciary responsibility of the Planning Director and Planning Board.
Tim Gupton & Marshall Sealey
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