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July 24, 2014

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Jason Eppley, a consultant with Benchmark, opens Tuesday’s comprehensive plan meeting at the Blowing Rock School gymnasium. Jeff Eason photo

Originally published: 2013-08-29 09:25:11
Last modified: 2013-08-29 09:25:54

Residents offer input on comprehensive plan

In 2012, more than 500 Blowing Rock residents responded to a survey asking them about different aspects of the future of the town.

The results of that survey have led to first steps in Blowing Rock’s 2013 Comprehensive Plan, a guide that will help leaders shape the town for the next 10 to 20 years.

“This comprehensive plan is a roadmap for the future of the town,” said Jason Eppley, a representative of Benchmark, a consulting firm based in Kannapolis. “It picks up where the current plan, which was developed in 2004, leaves off.”

Approximately 50 people attended an informal update and workshop devoted to the 2013 Comprehensive Plan. The meeting was held Tuesday evening at the Blowing Rock School gymnasium.

During the meeting, groups were divided into tables of about six people to discuss various issues facing Blowing Rock. The topics included “Land Use and Community Character,” “Economic Development and Tourism,” “Transportation, Infrastructure and Municipal Services” and “Parks and Recreation, Natural and Cultural Resources.”

Attending the meeting and taking part in the workshops were Blowing Rock Mayor J.B. Lawrence, Blowing Rock Commissioners Jim Steele, Doug Matheson, Albert Yount and Dan Phillips, town planner Kevin Rothrock, town engineer Doug Chapman, Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce officers John Aldridge and Kent Tarbutton, Police Chief Eric Brown, Parks and Recreation director Jennifer Brown and Blowing Rock Fire Chief Kent Graham, among others.

According to Eppley, the survey that Blowing Rock sent to all residents had a 24.3 percent return rate. The completed surveys were sent to North Carolina State University for analysis and returned to the town earlier this year.

After the workshop was finished, representatives from each table came forward and gave a synopsis of their results.

Plans are already under way for future public meetings to discuss various aspects of the 2013 Comprehensive Plan.

The meeting dates in October will be held from noon to 2 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. in Blowing Rock Town Hall.

The topics of the meetings and their dates include “Downtown” on Oct. 8, “Hospital Property” on Oct. 15 and “Valley Boulevard/Future Land Use” on Oct. 29.

A workshop summary meeting will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 12, following the regularly scheduled public meeting of the Blowing Rock Town Council.
For more information and stories, see The Blowing Rocket.

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