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Blowing Rock Board of Adjustments Again Denies Wilmot Circle Owner Short-Term Rentals

Members of the Blowing Rock Board of Adjustments

By Steve Frank

After a second marathon session of the Blowing Rock Board of Adjustments, the Town of Blowing Rock has again slammed the door on short-term rentals in the R-15 residential zones.   The decision came in the case of property owned by Chad Frazier, the 163 Wilmot Circle apartment building that has been the center of the growing conflict for the over three years Frazier has owned the property.

The second session of the appeal began at 5:30pm with BOA Interim Chair E.B. Springs joking that there was a very important basketball game on at 9 that he wanted to be home in time to see. But like the marathon session that began this hearing late on the afternoon of January 15th and was recessed at 11pm, this one wouldn’t be decided until after midnight on 2/20/2020.

And it probably is not a settled dispute, as Frazier’s attorney, David S. Pokela of Greensboro, answered a request for a comment on the decision, saying “I don’t comment on ongoing litigation.”  

But between the opening gavel and the early-morning finale, the three attorneys—Pokela for Frazier, the appellate, Boone attorneys Allen Moseley, representing the Town of Blowing Rock, and Jonathan Green, representing the closest property owners to the disputed property, Jack and Morgan Horner, debated points and history of Blowing Rock zoning law. David Pokela questioned Blowing Rock Planning Director Kevin Rothrock at length about the sequences that lead to changes in the town ordinance, especially on the most recent changes that occurred in 2018, attempting to demonstrate that changes were made after Frazier purchased the property.

For a time, it appeared the town’s case might hinge on a single word from another North Carolina governing body as Rockingham County, in a Court of Appeals decision rendered Monday, took to task the term “use” as in “actual and intended use” in the local ordinance, a point to which attorney Pokela said “You have to read ‘intent’ out of this by implication,” pointing out that the Rockingham County decision “expressly excluded intent.” It took some time for the attorneys to come to terms over Pokela’s fresh argument, but in the end, chairman Springs read several extensive sets of points and findings in the case, and the board voted unanimously to deny Frazier’s appeal.

E.B. Springs
Morgan Horner

Property owner Chad Frazier and his Greensboro attorney David S. Pokela.