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Watauga Commissioners Holding Public Hearing on Proposed Amendments to Valle Crucis Historic District Ordinance

By Nathan Ham

The ongoing decision-making process for constructing a new school in Valle Crucis will undoubtedly be a topic of conversation next Tuesday when the Watauga County Board of Commissioners hold a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the Valle Crucis Historic District Ordinance.

In a previous meeting of the county commissioners on September 17, there was a proposal put forth by the board to amend the ordinance to include a section on school construction. The original ordinance that went into effect on September 1, 1990, did not include any language addressing the construction of any academic facilities.

Although the previous ordinance did not make any inclusion for school construction, the current Valle Crucis School was “grandfathered” in as the building has been a part of the community for over 80 years.

There have been some disagreements between Valle Crucis residents, visitors and those involved with the county in this decision-making process on where to construct the new school.

Currently, the county has a 14.4-acre parcel of land about a quarter of a mile from the current Valle Crucis School under contract for the construction of the new school. The county has done numerous tests and mapping on the land and feels like this location may be the best bet for construction.

“We drilled the well three weeks ago and have been conducting the drawdown test of the well to determine the exact water pressure over the last two days. We are also doing water quality testing,” said Watauga County Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott on Wednesday afternoon. “We do not have official results back yet, but so far the indications are very positive.”

Some of the tests already completed included a wetlands study, sewer system percolation test, an archaeological study and a geotechnical study.

The public hearing will take place at the Watauga County Administration Building, located at 814 West King Street in downtown Boone. If you have any questions about the meeting or would like more information, please call 828-265-8043.