Council delays decision on Mountainleaf development
By Jeff Eason
After three hours of presentations, public comment and discussion among the town council, Blowing Rock commissioners voted 4-0 Tuesday evening to delay a decision on a proposed multi-use development project.
The proposed project is called Mountainleaf and would sit on a 7.359-acre site on Main Street between the entrance to Chetola Resort and Hill Street. As proposed by the Catellus Group, LLC, the development would include a 112-room hotel with conference space, spa, and restaurant, an additional restaurant, up to 26,000 square feet of retail space, 20 condominiums, and related parking spaces. The property is currently zoned Central Business (CB) and is located in the WS-IV-PA water supply watershed.
“My concern is the scale,” said commissioner Albert Yount. “In other words, to me, it is just too damned big.”
“I think it is an interesting project,” said commissioner Sue Sweeting. “Bu I would like to see a phase plan for the next two years. I would like to see more information about some of our storm-water runoff concerns. We need to discuss with Chetola Resort about the volume of runoff that will end up in Chetola Lake and who is going to pay for the dredging of that lake.”
Several residents of Blowing Rock spoke up about the issue during the public comments portion of the meeting.
“We’ve seen these things come and we’ve seen these things go,” said Keith Tester, in reference to a similar development that was proposed on the same property in 2008. “Two things bothered me tonight. The presentation was all about the seven-acre development. There was no mention of its integration into the rest of the village. The other issue is that all of this seems to be about how many people you can bring to town and how much money they will spend. There has been no discussion of what this will do to the quality of life of the people who live here and the to property values in this town.”
After a short discussion period, commissioners agreed to send questions regarding their concerns about the project to representatives of the Catellus Group through town planner Kevin Rothrock and to revisit the matter at the next regularly scheduled public meeting on Tuesday, August 12.
In other Blowing Rock Town Council news, the commissioners voted unanimously to:
· Approve a consideration of the Tax Collector 2013 Settlement Report and approval of an Order of the Town Board for the collection of 2014 taxes representing revenues for fiscal year 2014-2015.
· Approve a request from the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce for dates concerning a series of events they are planning for 2015.
The next regularly scheduled public meeting of the Blowing Rock Town Council will take place at Town Hall at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 12.