Where did the beauty go?

Dear Blowing Rock Neighbors,

I read an article this morning (see link below) in the Watauga Democrat – Where did the beauty go? about the drive along 321 going into Boone.

It reminded me of why the recent Valley Boulevard Vision process to plan the future of 321 corridor in Blowing Rock is so important to our future.

Thankfully, the Town Council convened a committee to study the future of our Valley Boulevard corridor and hired Benchmark to gather community input. The result was a report with 19 recommendations that our Planning Board is beginning to tackle this year so that our future will reflect the the Village of Blowing Rock and also be a catalyst for future redevelopment.

To support this effort, the Civic Association allocated funds to hire a firm to prepare an initial concept of how we might restore and embrace the Headwaters of the New River (Middle Fork River) that crosses over at the ABC Store and meanders across Sunset Drive to North Main Street across from Chetola.

The best view of the river stream is on Sunset Drive across from the First Baptist Church. The idea is to capitalize on the beauty and economic advantage offered by the river stream and “connect” it to Middle Fork Greenway as recommended in the 2014 Comprehensive Plan.

Hopefully, the visual aide will give the Planning Board under the leadership of Pete Gherini and the community a starting point to determine how to proceed and update the Land Use Codes accordingly.

This process is a generational opportunity for our community to create a Valley Boulevard that enhances the beauty of our Town and embraces and recognizes the Headwaters of New River as that start of one of North America’s greatests rivers.

Stay safe!

Tim Gupton


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