Board of Adjustment To Hear App Ski Mtn’s Appeal Interpretation of Antique Snow Cat

Published Wednesday, October 5, 2016 at 1:57 pm
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Notice the snow cat in the left of the photo.

By Jesse Wood

The Blowing Rock Board of Adjustment will meet tonight to hear an appeal from Appalachian Ski Mtn. regarding an antique snow cat on the resort’s new welcome center property that town staff has interpreted to be an illegal sign.

The Board of Adjustment will meet Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 5:30 p.m. at Town Hall.

In September, Blowing Rock Planning Director Kevin Rothrock notified ASM General Manager Brad Moretz that the 50-year-old-or-so snow cat that was installed as an aesthetic on the resort’s new welcome center property must be removed, according to an email Moretz provided to High Country Press.

Here is the short email:

Brad,

The definition of a sign is highlighted below:

Sign.  Any object, device, display, or structure that uses any color, form, graphic, illumination, symbol, or writing to advertise, to call attention to, to announce or identify the purpose of any person, place, or entity, or to communicate information of any kind to the public.  Any flag, streamer, pole, or architectural device shall be construed a sign when it is intended to draw attention to or announce or identify an enterprise.

It is my opinion that the snow cat as displayed on the property is considered a sign and would not be allowed. It would need to be removed from the property. Let me know if you have questions. Thank you.

Kevin Rothrock, AICP
Planning Director
Town of Blowing Rock

Moretz said he’s appealing because he interprets the placement of the snow cat differently and noted that with a simple majority vote, the Board of Adjustment can overrule staff’s ruling.

“It makes for a real interesting artififact that sort of represents the history of the area, and we thought it would add appeal to the property,” Moretz said. “It’s almost 50 years old.”

Moretz said the snow cat was sitting on the property for a couple weeks before Rothrock contacted Moretz.

Appalachian Ski Mtn. opened its welcome center off U.S. 321 in Blowing Rock in September.

Appalachian Ski Mtn. decided to build a visitor center and detached sign at the base of Edmisten Road after the 40-year old billboard advertising the resort across the street was torn down for an access road for the Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge,

As Appalachian Ski Mtn. was making plans for its facility, High Country Host found out that the N.C. Department of Transportation was considering selling the building High Country Host had operated out for years on U.S. 321 in Boone. The timing was right, so the two entities engaged in talks and worked out an agreement to operate the facility year round.

The visitor center, which is a 1,547-square-foot building, is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

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