AN ANALYSIS OF THE PROPOSED BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR BEGINNING JUNE 30, 2018

Friends – The critically important subject document is now being examined by the Mayor and Council. Approval of the budget will be requested at the June 12 Council meeting. The following are pertinent numbers:

1. TOWN PROPERTY TAX BASE IN SUBJECT BUDGET:  $ 1,142,036,477, A 1.2% INCREASE OVER THE       ESTIMATED CURRENT BASE AND AN ESTIMATED 1.7% INCREASE OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS.

2. ESTIMATED TOWN POPULATION:  1241, A 0.7% INCREASE OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS

3. CONSUMER PRICE INDEX INCREASE OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS 3.3%

4. PROPERTY TAX RATE RECOMMENDED 38 CENTS/$ 100, A 2.7% INCREASE OVER THE CURRENT RATE AND A 35.7% INCREASE OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS.

5. BASIC WATER RATE RECOMMENDED $ 45.00, A 2.27% INCREASE OVER THE CURRENT YEAR AND A 26.76% INCREASE OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS.

6. BASIC SEWER RATE RECOMMENDED $ 45.00, A 2.27% INCREASE OVER THE CURRENT YEAR AND A 26.76% INCREASE OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS.

7. RECOMMENDED GENERAL FUND EXPENDITURES FOR 2018-2019 ARE $ 8,257,526, A 3.15% INCREASE OVER THE CURRENT YEAR AND A 75.65% INCREASE OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS.

 

The total Recommended Budget for 2018-2019 can be seen on the Town of Blowing Rock website. Comments and questions on the budget should be addressed to Mayor Charlie Sellers (csellers@tobr.us), Mayor ProTem Albert Yount (ayount@tobr.us), Council Members Doug Matheson (dmatheson@tobr.us), Virginia Powell (vpowell@tobr.us), Jim Steele (jsteele@tobr.us), and Sue Sweeting (ssweeting@tobr.us).

 

Best regards,

George Wilcox

1150 Main Street Project Analysis by Blowing Rock Civic Association Development Committee

Project at 1150 Main St. in Blowing Rock, NC Date:  March 19, 2018

The committee members were furnished with architectural drawings, elevations and other material concerning the above referenced project.  On March 9, 2018 the committee members met, on site, with the real estate agents, developer, his architect and engineer. The committee walked the site and was shown the building footprint on the property. The committee met with the Planning Supervisor and examined his file and discussed the project with him.

It is not the mission of the committee to endorse or not endorse a project.  It is the committee’s function to look at the material available to it and report any concerns it may have.

The committee has no concerns as to parking, height, density,  scale, setbacks or other matters involved with the project.

The committee is unanimous in its decision and authorizes the secretary to sign this memo on their behalf.

Respectfully submitted:

Blowing Rock Civic Association Development Committee

By Robert M. Burroughs –      Secretary

The committee  includes a brief professional history of its members. All members  of the committee  are Blowing Rock  homeowners.

James Scott: -2- years on the Blowing  Rock Planning Board (in the early 80’s);  -50+• years as a registered professional; Engineered (ret);  -20- years as a licensed general contractor (ret); licensed real estate broker (inactive).

Marshall Sealey:  BS degree in metallurgical engineering from NCSU;  -47- years engineering and constructing large industrial projects.   He has worked in almost all US states and -20- foreign countries.  He retired in 2017.

Julian  West:  -30+- years in commercial  construction  and property management; served several terms on the Statesville, NC Planning  Board and Statesville Board of Adjustment

John lsehour:

Bob Burroughs:   Trial attorney-14- years; North Carolina Superior  Court Judge

-20- years (ret);  -11- years as a certified mediator and arbitrator.

Note:  Bill Carter did not participate  in this evaluation.   He resigned from the committee because his wife was appointed to the Blowing Rock  Board of Adjustment

Proposed Development at 1150 Main St. White House former Blowing Rock Realty Office in downtown Blowing Rock

Friends – Realtor Sue Glenn and Carboro Developer Steve Heatherington hosted a community meeting at town hall recently to introduce the proposed development and to receive community questions and comments on it. THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PRESENTED TO THE TOWN PLANNING BOARD AT THEIR APRIL MEETING. The following are various points taken from the community meeting:

1. Heatherington came to the U.S. from Wales and started into development in 2006. He moved to N.C. in 2008. He told the meeting that he has focused on “…infill developments to revitalize and rejuvenate…”. His wife Heather, a North Carolina native, his local architect and engineer were present at the meeting.

2. A Standing room only capacity crowd of citizens attended the meeting.

3. THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT ON .337 ACRE WOULD HAVE 2971 SQUARE FEET OF RETAIL SPACE ON MAIN AND SIX RESIDENTIAL UNITS. HEATHERINGTON SAID THAT THESE UNITS WOULD BE FOR SHORT TERM RENTALS AT PROJECTED RATES OF $ 275/NIGHT FOR A 3 BEDROOM UNIT, $ 200/NIGHT FOR A 2 BEDROOM UNIT AND $ 150-175/NIGHT FOR A ONE BEDROOM UNIT. SIGNIFICANT VARIANCES FROM TOWN CODE LIMITS WILL BE REQUESTED FOR DENSITY AND HEIGHT.

4. The white house now on the property and the large Pine trees in front of the house will be removed.

5. Sue said the white house was built in 1887 by relatives of the Stringfellows who then owned Chetola. She said it was a residence until 1973 when it became an antique shop. Later Sue located Blowing Rock Realty in the building for 24 years. It has been empty for the last five years. Sue said the house is in very poor condition and that despite all efforts no buyer has been found who will preserve the house.

6. Efforts will be made to improve the exterior appearance of proposed buildings before presentation to the Planning Board.

The BRCA Development Evaluation Committee has met with Sue and is reviewing the project architectural and engineering plans. The committee will meet with the Town Planning Director and then with Sue, the developer and his team this Friday 3/9/2018. A committee report with further project information will be issued following these meetings.

Best regards,

George

John H. Isenhour, Jr., New Member of the BRCA Development Evaluation Committee

Friends – I am very pleased to announce that John H. Isenhour, Jr., outstanding businessman, engineer, and longtime seasonal resident of Blowing Rock has become a member of the Blowing Rock Civic Association Development Evaluation Committee. This committee recently provided the community with excellent information on the proposed 12 units development that was planned for the .907 acre property back of The Speckled Trout Restaurant in downtown Blowing Rock. That development was rejected by the town council by a unanimous vote at the February council meeting. The committee is now evaluating a six condominiums with retail space project proposed for the .337 acre property that holds a large white historic house at the corner of Main and Pine Streets across Pine Street from the Town Tavern.

Best regards,

 

George Wilcox
Blowing Rock Civic Association

BLOWING ROCK, N.C.TOWN COUNCIL MEETING 2/13/2018

BLOWING ROCK, N.C. TOWN COUNCIL MEETING 2/13/2018

1.       COUNCIL MEMBER VIRGINIA POWELL ASKED THAT SPEAKERS FROM THE PUBLIC BE HEARD EARLY IN COUNCIL MEETINGS RATHER THAN AT THE END OF MEETINGS SO THAT THEIR VIEWS CAN BE EXPRESSED ON ISSUES BEFORE COUNCIL VOTES. COUNCIL APPROVED HEARING SPEAKERS FROM THE PUBLIC RIGHT AFTER APPROVAL OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING’S MINUTES BUT PROHIBITED DISCUSSION OF THE CURRENT MEETING’S AGENDA ITEMS BY THE SPEAKERS.

2.       SPECIAL EVENTS WERE APPROVED INCLUDING A PARADE PERMIT FOR OASIS SHRINERS FOR SATURDAY JUNE 2, 2018, THE GLOBE GRAVEL CHALLENGE BIKE RIDE AND THE BLOWING ROCK FALL CLASSIC.

3.       THE COTTAGES AT GREEN HILL DEVELOPMENT , DEVELOPERS JIM LESTER AND BO PERRY, WAS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED FOR 8 SINGLE FAMILY HOMES ON 4.59 ACRES OFF GREEN HILL RD. SOUTH OF THE EDGE HILL RD. INTERSECTION. A NEW STREET WILL BE CONTRUCTED OFF GREEN HILL RD. FOR THE DEVELOPMENT.

4.       A 12 UNITS CONDO PROJECT PROPOSED FOR THE FORMER CHEESEBURGERS IN PARADISE PROPERTY BACK OF THE SPECKLED TROUT AND BOND BY RAINEY ST. AND MORNINGSIDE DR. WAS UNANIMOUSLY REJECTED BY COUNCIL AFTER PRESENTATIONS BY A NUMBER OF TOWN RESIDENTS WHO OPPOSED THE PROJECT’S SCALE, DENSITY, HEIGHT AND IMPACT ON TRAFFIC. ENGINEER MARSHALL SEALEY REPRESENTING THE BLOWING ROCK CIVIC ASSOCIATION’S DEVELOPMENT EVALUATION COMMITTEE MADE AN EXCELLENT PRESENTATION INCLUDING VISUALS PREPARED WITH THE HELP OF HIS SON CLAY THAT FOCUSED ON THE IMPACT ON DOWNTOWN OF THE EXTRAORDINARY SCALE, HEIGHT AND DENSITY OF THE PROPOSED PROJECT.

5.       THE VILLAGE FOUNDATION WAS GIVEN PERMISSION TO PROCEED WITH INSTALLING PAVERS BETWEEN MAIN ST. AND THE LAUREL LANE MEDIAN IN DOWNTOWN IF THE PROJECT STARTS NO LATER THAN APRIL 15. THIS WILL REQUIRE CLOSING OF BOTH TRAFFIC LANES ON LAUREL LANE FOR 40-60 DAYS. THE FOUNDATION PLANS TO INSTALL TWO “PILLARS OF TOURISM” INCLUDING BRONZE PLAQUES RECOGNIZING MAJOR LOCAL TOURIST ATTRACTIONS ON LAUREL LANE.

6.       COUNCIL REJECTED A REQUEST TO CONTRIBUTE $ 10,000 TO A WATAUGA CO. VETERANS’ MONUMENT IN BOONE.

7.       COUNCIL REJECTED REQUEST FOR EXTRA STREET WORK AT CONDOS AT VILLAGE GREEN.

8.       COUNCIL APPROVED MORE MONEY TO EXPEDITE COMPLETION OF WHITE AND YELLOW LINING OF A NUMBER OF TOWN STREETS AND ROADS THAT NEED PROMPT ATTENTION FOR  CITIZEN SAFETY.

9.       TWELVE LARGE TREES HAVE BEEN CUT DOWN AND REMOVED FROM MEMORIAL PARK. SEE THE PARK AFTER TREE REMOVAL EITHER IN PERSON OR BY ACCESSING BLOWING ROCK RESORT CAM. A TOWN TREE POLICY WAS APPROVED TO ACCEPT CONTRIBUTIONS OF $ 2000 FOR A TREE TO BE PLANTED AND MAINTAINED IN THE PARK OR AT OTHER TOWN LOCATIONS AND FOR CONTRIBUTIONS OF $ 2000 EACH FOR A BENCH TO BE PLACED AND MAINTAINED IN THESE LOCATIONS . APPROPRIATE PERMANENT RECOGNITION WILL BE PROVIDED FOR THESE CONTRIBUTIONS AND RECOGNITION CERTFICATES WILL BE PROVIDED TO THOSE WHO CONTRIBUTE $ 100 OR MORE TO THE TREE FUND.

10.   VOTES WERE TAKEN TO CHOOSE FROM A HISTORIC NUMBER OF FIFTEEN CANDIDATES FOR 3 OPEN SLOTS ON THE TOWN PLANNING BOARD, POSITIONS WERE ALSO FILLED ON THE TOWN BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT, THE B.R. APPEARANCE ADVISORY COMMISSION, AND THE B.R. TOURISM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY.

11.   COUNCIL APPROVED PURCHASE OF A MUCH NEEDED CUTOFF VALVE AT THE TOWN WATER PLANT.

12.   COUNCIL ALSO APPROVED PAYING HALF OF THE ANNUAL COST OF $ 14,500 FOR PURCHASE BY THE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF A PROGRAM TO IDENTIFY AND TRACK SHORT TERM RENTALS IN BLOWING ROCK. THE COMPANY PROVIDING THE PROGRAM HAS IDENTIFIED 125 SHORT TERM RENTALS, SIGNIFICANTLY MORE THAN THE 75 TOWN IDENTIFIED RENTALS.

 

COUNCIL VOTING BY MEMBER

 

MEMBER                                                   YOUNT     MATHESON    POWELL    STEELE     SWEETING

 

ISSUE

1.       SPEAKERS FROM PUBLIC             Y                Y                      Y                Y              N – OPPOSED TOPIC

RESTRICTION

2.       GREEN HILL COTTAGES                Y                Y                      Y                Y              Y

 

3.       MORNINGSIDE DEVEL.                 N               N                     N               N              N

 

4.       LAUREL LANE PROJ.                      Y                Y                      Y                Y              Y

 

5.       VET.MEMORIAL  CONTRI.            N               N                     N               N              Y

 

6.       VILLAGE GREEN WORK                 N               N                     N               N              N

 

7.       TREE POLICY                                   Y                Y                      Y                Y              Y

 

8.       WATER PLT. VALVE                        Y               Y                      Y                 Y              Y

 

9.       SHORT TRM.RENTAL PGM.           Y               Y                      Y                 Y              Y

Blowing Rock Town Council Meeting February 13, 2018 at 5:30pm at the Town Hall

February 13, 2018

1. Call to Order

2. Adoption of Agenda

3.  Special Recognition & Reports

a. Resolution of Appreciation – Barbara  Wright

4.  Approval of Minutes

a. January  9, 2018 Regular  Town Council  Meeting

b. January  14,  15  and  16 Town Council  Retreat

c. January  16, Closed  Session

5.  Consent Agenda

a.  Shriners  Parade – Date Request

b. 2018  Globe Gravel  Challenge Bike Ride- Date Request

c. Blowing Rock First Baptist  SK-Date Request

d.  Blowing Rock Fall Classic  2018 – Date Request

e. Resolution for National Parks

1.  Public Hearings

a.  Subdivision – The Cottages  at Green Hill Subdivision – Kevin Rothrock

b.  Blowing  Rock  Townhomes  – Kevin Rothrock

1.  Old Business

a. Laurel  Lane Presentation – Next  Step and Request for Temporary Closure  – Jim Pitts/John Aldridge

b. Watauga  County  Veteran’s Memorial – Military  Officer’s Association of America (MOAA)  Donation

Request – Ed Evans

c.  Condos at Village Green – Parking Area Repair Consideration – McGill, Inc.

d. White Line Stripping – Ed Evans – Mike Wilco

e. Memorial Tree Donation-Draft Policy- Jennifer Brown/Ed

2.  New Business

a. Board Appointments  – Ed Evans

b. Main Shutoff Valve – Water Plant – McGill, Inc.

c.  Short Term Rental Helper Software – Tracy Brown

d.  Speakers from Floor Policy – Ed Evans

3.  Manager’s Report

1.  Departmental Reports

a. ABC Minutes (No meeting – No Report)

b.  BRAAC Minutes

c. Financial Report

d .  Fire & Rescue

e.  McGill Associates

f.  Parks & Recreation

g. Planning & Inspections

h. Police Department

i.  Public Works

j. Water Treatment Plant (provide at meeting)

1.  Speakers from the floor

Prior to the meeting, anyone wishing to speak shall complete an index card supplied by the Town Clerk, on which they will provide their name, address, telephone  number  and the topic they wish to address. In deference to all who wish to speak, each speaker will be asked to limit his or her comments  to no more than three (3) minutes. Speakers for Public Hearings do not need to sign up.

1.  Closed Session Pursuant to NCGS 143-318.11(6) – Personnel, NCGS 143-318.11 (a)(5) Real Property

2.  Return to open Session

3.  Adjourn

PROPOSED CONDO DEVELOPMENT BEHIND THE SPECKLED TROUT

Friends,

Visit our facebook.com/TBRCA for the latest information submitted by the development committee of Blowing Rock Civic Association.

The mayor and members of the town council need to hear from you AS THE DEVELOPER WILL BE PRESENTING THEIR PROJECT AT THE FEBRUARY 13, 2018 TOWN COUNCIL MEETING AT 5:30 pm at the town hall even though the planning board declined their project just a month earlier.

Your insights will be critical to their decisions and the future of the village of Blowing Rock.  They represent you and your voice at this critical time of the future development of Blowing Rock.  I am sure they will appreciate your input.

Mayor Charlie Sellers –  csellers@tobr.us
Mayor Pro Tem Albert Yount  – ayount@tobr.us

Council Members:

Doug Matheson  – dmatheson@tobr.us
Virginia Powell   –  vpowell@tobr.us
Jim Steele             jsteele@tobr.us
Sue Sweeting       ssweeting@tobr.us

Respectively

The Blowing Rock Association Development Evaluation Committee

Bob Burroughs, Bill Carter, Jim Scott, Marshall Sealey and Julian West

PROPOSED CONDO DEVELOPMENT BEHIND THE SPECKLED TROUT

 

February 5, 2018

To:  All Blowing Rock Residents

From:  The Blowing Rock Civic Association Development Evaluation Committee

Subject:  12 Unit Condominium Project Proposed for Downtown Blowing Rock on a .905 acre Property behind the Speckled Troup Restaurant, bound by Highway 221, Morningside Drive and Rainey Street

Despite rejection of the subject development by the Blowing Rock Planning Board at its December 2017 meeting the developer will present the project to the Blowing Rock Council for approval at their Tuesday February 13, 2018 meeting that begins at 5:30 P.M. at Town Hall.  Our committee has concluded that if approved and built this development will have a major impact on downtown Blowing Rock.  The following are concerns and facts about this project that we think should be carefully considered by the council and residents:

1.        The development will tower over surrounding Main Street and Highway 221 buildings.  The developer is asking for a variance from the town height limit of 30 feet to approximately 35 feet that will mean, considering the property elevation, that building tops will be approximately five stories above highway 221.

2.       The developer is requesting approval for an extraordinary increase in building density to 12 units from the long time Blowing Rock standard of only 5 units for this property, a 166% increase in density.

3.       The developer originally requested use of town right of way for six of the required parking spaces for this project.  These parking spaces have now been brought on to the developer’s property.  Because the proposed condominiums will be used for short term rentals we are concerned about parking adequacy, particularly if garages are converted to living space by owners.  Unauthorized parking on interior streets can cause significant access problems for emergency vehicles.

4.       We are concerned that approval of this project will set a precedent that assures approval of future developments with 13.3 units per acre of density and buildings with 35 feet of height.

5.       Town staff estimates that the property taxes generated by this development when fully occupied would be $ 17,550/yr., 0.12% of this year’s town budget of $ 14,520.000.

Respectively submitted by the B.R.C.A Development Evaluation Committee

Judge Bob Burroughs – Retired Superior Court Judge

Bill Carter – Commercial and Residential Real Estate Professional and Developer

Jim Scott  – Retired Engineer and former chairman of the Blowing Rock Planning Board

Marshall Sealey – Retired Engineer and Construction Specialist

Julian West – Construction Executive, Developer and Investor

Blowing Rock Council Retreat in Asheville January 14th to 16th, 2018

Friends – A group of members of the Blowing Rock Civic Association and David Rogers, Editor of the Blowing Rock News attended the subject interesting and informative event. Mayor Charlie Sellers, Council Members and Town Manager Ed Evans emphasized the importance of transparency in conducting town business and strict compliance with the North Carolina Sunshine Laws requiring transparency. In that spirit, though a number of important town issues were thoroughly discussed, no decisions were made or votes taken at this meeting. We were impressed with the town’s issuing more than $ 39,000,000 in construction permits in 2017 (approx. $38,000,000 residential and $ 1,000,000 commercial). This is a huge improvement over the $ 13,000,000 in permits issued for 2016. It is a record performance for the town. We were also impressed with the number of qualified citizens who have applied for town volunteer board positions. It is great for the town’s future. The February 13th. town council meeting will include followup actions on a number of items discussed at the retreat. The meeting will also include a request by the developer for approval of the Morningside downtown condominium project rejected by the Planning Board in December.We were impressed with the knowledge and dedication of all meeting participants. Please see David Rogers’ excellent reports on this very important meeting at www.blowingrocknews.com for details.

Best regards,

 

George Wilcox
Blowing Rock Civic Association