By Jesse Wood
July 9, 2014. On Tuesday evening, the Blowing Rock Town Council unanimously agreed to table a decision on the proposed Mountainleaf development that includes a 112-room hotel, 20 condominiums and up to 26,000 square feet of retail space underneath the condos on a seven-acre parcel just a couple blocks from downtown Blowing Rock.
This decision followed a lengthy public hearing where quite a few folks spoke both in favor and against the development. The council has decided hold another public hearing and entertain more discussion amongst council in August before likely making a final decision on Mountainleaf.
Councilman Al Yount was among the council members that had concerns with the development.
When asked, Yount simply said, “Scale.”
“They did a very professional presentation and done a lot of things they should have done, but it’s just a scale issue,” Yount eventually added.
Yount said that other concerns citizens who spoke at the meeting included that this could create “two Blowing Rocks” and the predominance of one-bedroom condos. Yount said that if some of the residents wanted to sell their house and buy a condo, they would probably prefer two or more bedrooms.
The council was operating a man down as Councilman Ray Pickett, owner of the Blowing Rock Inn, recused himself because he also operates a hotel in the area.
The parcel in question is a wooded property that is located between the entrance of Chetola Resort and Hill Street.
Charlotte-based Catellus Group is requesting a conditional use permit to construct the mixed-use project that was recommended to council by the town’s Planning Board in June with these five conditions:
- Improve and widen Hill Street to 18 feet of asphalt width and curb and gutter on the east side of Hill St
- All parking areas shall be accessed from within the site
- Applicant shall provide escrow funds for sidewalk installation from south corner of Hill Street (at Main Street) to Southern Comforts
- All access to sidewalk within the site will be available to the public
- Provide public restrooms on the site
According to a memo from Planning Director Kevin Rothrock, the “Mountainleaf” development includes 112-room hotel with conference space and a spa, two restaurants, four condominiums and retail space of up to 26,000 square feet.
Tammy Bentley, an administrative assistant with the town’s planning department, said that Mountainleaf is aiming to open in 2015. She also mentioned that Catellus Group would hire a hotel management company to oversee the establishment.
For more details on the development, click to this 29-page document here.
See conceptual renderings of the project below.