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August 01, 2014

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Jason Gaston of Valor Engineering explains to the Blowing Rock Town Council how the new 17-home development called Up on the Hill will control water runoff. Photo by Jeff Eason.

Originally published: 2011-03-22 16:40:55
Last modified: 2011-03-22 16:41:02

Town Council News

The Blowing Rock landmark known as Sonny’s Grill has been closed for two years this month. Now it appears as if the old building that housed the historic restaurant will disappear as well.
During Tuesday’s meeting of the Blowing Rock Town Council, Commissioners unanimously approved a conditional use permit (CUP) request from Ron Anderson, owner of the Six Pence Pub and the adjoining building that once housed Sonny’s Grill, for a conditional use permit to demolish the former Imerson building and construct a patio for 32 outdoor dining seats for Six Pence Pub. The property in question is located at 1119 Main Street and is zoned Town Center.
Anderson has plans to donate a couple of bar stools and the screen door from Sonny’s Grill to the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum, to be opened this fall.
Now that the Town has approved the demolishment of the Imerson building and the building of the new Six Pence Patio, work will commence at the site in the coming weeks.
The patio will have two access points from the existing Six Pence building, plus an entrance from the sidewalk on Main Street. The patio will be open on the back side, but will have potted plants on the back of the deck to serve as a sight and noise buffer between the dining area and the neighborhood behind Main Street.
The base of the patio will be built with red brick to match the bricks in the Six Pence Pub building.
The Town’s parking requirements of five spaces remains the same from the time the building was used as Sonny’s Grill. According to contractor Ruben Morris, most of the demolition will take place from the rear of the building and the Town has placed requirements on the work in regards to noise, work hours, pedestrian safety, dust and other factors.
Sonny’s Grill was opened by Sonny Klutz in the early 1950s and served as focal point of both locals and tourists for over half a decade. Its signature dishes such as ham biscuits and livermush made it famous throughout the Southeast.

Up on the Hill

The Blowing Rock Town Council also voted unanimously to approve a CUP request from George Taylor for the development of a 17-lot single-family subdivision and a new public road to be called “Up on the Hill.”
The 10.62-acre subdivision will lie between Old Boone Road near 1763 Goforth Road and Possum Hollow Road. Access will be provided from Goforth Road.
The property is currently outside the Blowing Rock Town limits in the extended territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) and is zoned R-15, Single-family.
Taylor is also requesting that the property be annexed into the town for water and sewer service.
According to Blowing Rock Town Planner Kevin Rothrock, the property is now a wooded area with Blue Ridge Electrical Membership (BREMCO) electrical lines running down the middle. Plans are to have all additional utility lines buried to comply with current town standards.
Taylor plans to build a new road and then dedicate it to the public upon completion. The Up on the Hill property owners association (POA) will be responsible for a road wall that will keep excess water runoff from the road, and the town will be responsible for snow removal and other road upkeep.
Rothrock also stated that other adjoining properties would have to apply separately for annexation to be included on Town water and sewer lines.
Jason Gaston, an engineer with Valor Engineering in Boone, told the Town Council that the position of the acreage in question and the building of the houses will ensure that water run-off occurs in two separate directions. The development will also include a water detention center, to control runoff from the property.
“We have to meet the pre-development flow code,” said Gaston. “We are trying to move as much of the water from the roadways to the detention center as possible. The majority of the water already flows toward the church. Now we’ll have less storm water than before heading that way.”
Gaston added that the Up on the Hill POA will be responsible for the maintenance of the water detention system.

Other Town Council News

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, The Blowing Rock Town Council unanimously approved:
•    A request from the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce for a lease renewal for the downtown Fresh Market in 2011. The Fresh Market is a farmer’s market-style street sale of vegetables, plants, prepared food and other items that takes place on Thursday afternoons from May through October.
•    Consideration of bids for four new town vehicles including two new police cruisers, a public works truck and a tractor. The vehicles will replace four town vehicles that will either be traded in or sold through online auction.
•    Consideration of bids for sewer line extensions on Wallingford Street/Globe Court and Main Street.
•    Consideration of Change Order #2 for the Blowing Rock/Boone Water Interconnection Project totaling $29,518. The extra money will be used to pay for unforeseen expenditures such as higher guardrails along the project and other items. According to Blowing Rock Town Manager Scott Hildebran, the project is still nearly $1 million under budget due to funding from grants and an interest-free loan.
•    Consideration of bids on Phase II of the Downtown Streetscape Improvement Plan. Phase II of the plan will improve the sidewalks and street areas of Main Street from the Blowing Rock Historical Society Museum to the Blowing Rock Community Library.

The next public meeting of the Blowing Rock Town Council will take place at Town Hall on Tuesday, April 12 at 6 p.m.

For more information and stories, see The Blowing Rocket.

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