PRESERVATION OF GATEWAY TO BLOWING ROCK

The Green Park neighborhoods consisting of Gideon Ridge, Lower Green Hill Road, Tarry Acres and Pinnacle have joined together to save a greenspace gateway entrance to the Town.

The increased demand for real estate has focused homeowners and Town leaders on the potential loss of greenspace that we often take for granted.

Conservation of land has been the driver of Blowing Rock’s history, appeal and economy. So the question for our community is how do we preserve and protect smaller tracts of land and encourage development within the Village to respect existing greenspace. The reality is ownership and the Land Use Code are the only two levers to achieve this goal.

We are sharing the following appeal from the homeowners in the Green Park neighborhoods for you to evaluate and consider supporting.

The historic old sixth hole of the Blowing Rock Country Club was originally a fairway and golf green built in 1915 as part of the Green Park-Norwood Golf Course. Later acquired by the Blowing Rock Country Club, the hole was an active hole on the golf course until ca.1990.

Listed on the National Register as a part of the Green Park
Historic District, it has remained an undeveloped hillside meadow rising from Highway 321 near the southerly entrance to Blowing Rock. On February 9, 2021, the Town of Blowing Rock approved the subdivision of the meadow for single-family residential purposes, resulting in the loss of beautiful green space at a gateway entrance to our picturesque mountain community.

The developer, John Winkler, has graciously entertained the thoughts and concerns of a group of residents and has actively worked with the Town to achieve a development plan which will preserve as green space approximately 2 acres of the historic meadow abutting HIghway 321.

The plan calls for the purchase of the approximately 2 acres at a reasonable price and a substantial reduction in the number of residential lots to be developed from 12 to 7. Purchase of this property provides a one-time opportunity to create and maintain a more pleasing gateway to Blowing Rock at the headwaters of the Yadkin River on the Continental Divide. The density of the development will be reduced and the potential for an increase in dangerous conditions on Green Hill Road will be diminished. Mr. Winkler can realize infrastructure savings and by reducing the number of lots building lots.

The end result should be a win-win situation:

(1) Generation of revenue for the developer by the sale of property for green space, enhancing the value of the balance of the development and savings on infrastructure costs, and

(2) A reduction in the size and density of the development and its impact on Green Hill Road and our collective gift to the entire Blowing Rock community in the form of an attractive, and more pleasing and welcoming gateway on Highway 321 near the crest of the Blue Ridge.

Approximately $300,000 must be raised for the purchase and conveyance to the Town of Blowing Rock. Reflecting strong community support to date, in the 4 weeks since the Town Council approved the subdivision, commitments totaling $190,000 have been made by individuals in the Blowing Rock community.

The time frame to accomplish the win-win transaction is tight. Mr. Winkler has been very generous with his time and effort to make this work, but his project cannot be delayed indefinitely. In order to allow him to move forward, we must raise the balance of the needed funds quickly. While all donations are greatly appreciated, gifts in the range of $10,000 to $30,000 will enable us to accomplish the desired outcome.

We have requested assistance from The Village Foundation of Blowing Rock in collecting the funds. We have also approached the Town of Blowing Rock to request that the Town take title to the land and provide basic maintenance to the new greenspace.

We need and appreciate your support. Please email Wayne Vason at waynervason@gmail.com.

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