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Templeton Withdraws WHS Offer: $19M Bid Price With Town Regulations ‘Presents Unacceptable Level of Risk’

By Jesse Wood

May 7, 2013. On Tuesday morning, the Watauga County Board of Commissioners were expected to hear a request for a 60-day extension of the inspection period on the old Watauga High School property, which Templeton Properties offered roughly $19 million for last fall. 

On behalf of Phil Templeton, attorney Allen Moseley of Deal, Moseley & Smith, LLP initially requested the extension in a letter to Chair Nathan Miller on April 17. 

However after the request was put on the board’s May 7 agenda, Templeton sent County Manager Deron Geouque a letter on Monday “to confirm my decision to withdraw Templeton Properties’ $18,948,000 offer to purchase” the old high school property, which is owned by the county but sits within the Town of Boone.

The commissioners didn’t discuss the matter other than Miller, referring to the letter and saying, “It’s clear, his reasoning, he states reasons why its not a viable project anymore.” 

In his letter, Templeton said, “The Town Council’s recent adoption of the the discriminatory, anti-multi family housing regulations proposed by the ‘Affordable Housing Taskforce’ was the primary determining factor in arriving at this decision.” 

Along with the recently approved “Supplementary Standards for Multi-Family Housing Development” section in the revised Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) by the Boone Town Council, which were passed after Templeton’s offer was accepted on the property, Templeton said previous town regulations on buildings large enough to accommodate a Target and other previous “restrictive provisions such as the tree preservation, retaining walls, viewshed and steep slope ordinances” were contributing factors in his decision to back out of the offer. 

Noting all the “misguided” requirements, Templeton said the current bid price for the property “presents an unacceptable level of risk” for the mixed-use development he originally envisioned. 

Since Templeton’s due diligence period ends on Sunday, May 12, the commissioners plan to put the property back on the market as soon as possible. 

After the meeting, Commissioner John Welch said the old WHS property would “hopefully” be back on the market on Monday. 

Read entire letter below.

For more background on this, click to: https://www.hcpress.com/news/the-recent-letter-battles-of-the-sales-tax-switchold-whs-property-between-templeton-boone-and-watauga.html