Blowing Rock Town Hall

Blowing Rock Town Hall is at 1036 Main St., Blowing Rock.

BLOWING ROCK — With new commissioner Pete Gherini still unable to leave Italy and now veteran commissioner David Harwood sidelined due to illness, January’s regular meeting of town council proved to be an abbreviated, but efficient edition to officially kickoff the new year. The meeting was held via Zoom and simultaneously broadcast on YouTube.

After approving the previous minutes, then deleting or moving around a couple of agenda items, the council was ready to get down to business. Gherini, who missed the December meeting while on vacation in Europe, was to be sworn in at the outset of the Jan. 11 meeting, but that was not possible because of his inability to leave Italy at the moment. COVID-19 was hindering his travel arrangements.

Mayor Charlie Sellers announced at the beginning that the closed session slated for the end of the Jan. 11 open session would be rescheduled. A summary of business items:

  • PRESENTATION: The council members received a representative of the League of Municipalities recognizing the Blowing Rock Police Department for having completed a “Risk Review.”
  • APPROVED: During the only public hearing of the Jan. 11 meeting, the board of commissioners unanimously approved the conditional rezoning of the 0.37 acres between Pine Street and Laurel Lane, for a 14-room hotel. The now vacant lot was formerly the site of the Stone Pillar bed and breakfast fronting the Pine Street side and Snips hair salon, formerly accessible off of Laurel Lane. The planned hotel will have ground level parking with one-way access off of Pine Street and exiting onto Laurel Lane. There will be two floors above the garage, the first with 8 units and 16 bedrooms. The second with 6 units and 6 rooms. The only variance request is for the height in the center portion of the building to be 40 feet, which is beyond 65 feet setback from the streets. The commissioners approved the request conditioned upon agreement with the fire department as to the apparatus required in the event of fire.
  • UPDATE: Parks & Recreation Director Jennifer Brown shared some notes on the process by which the planning committee approached the evaluation of all Blowing Rock parks.
  • APPROVED: The commissioners unanimously approved the installation of new 3-way stop signage at Ransom Street and Henkel Street, recognizing that turning left from Henkel is against a blind curve. Comparisons were drawn with the recently installed 3-way stop signage at the intersection of Green Hill Road and Green Hill Circle. “No traffic study has been done,” said town manager Shane Fox, “but the Green Hill consultant looked at aerial photos of the intersection and agreed that it had similar characteristics. The Ransom Street intersection has more traffic.”
  • APPROVED: The board of commissioners unanimously approved the acceptance of a $6,000 grant from the Village Foundation and a $5,500 expenditure from the general fund to replace the fountain in the middle of Broyhill Lake.

After individual council member comments, the meeting was adjourned at 7:02 p.m.

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