The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a special meeting on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, at 5:30 P.M. in the Commissioners’ Board Room, Watauga County Administration Building, Boone, North Carolina.  The purpose of the meeting was to hold a public hearing to allow citizen comment on proposed changes to the High Impact Land Use (HILU) Ordinance.


Present:   John Welch, Chairman

                 Billy Kennedy, Vice-Chairman

                 Jimmy Hodges, Commissioner

                 Larry Turnbow, Commissioner

                 Perry Yates, Commissioner

                 Anthony di Santi, County Attorney 

                 Deron Geouque, County Manager

                 Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board

                 Joe Furman, Planning & Inspections Director


Chairman Welch called the meeting to order at 5:31 P.M.


Public Hearing To Allow Citizen Comment On Proposed Amendments To The  High Impact Land Use Ordinance


Commissioner Yates, seconded by Vice-Chairman Kennedy, moved to open the public hearing at 5:33 P.M.


VOTE:  Aye - 5

Nay - 0


The following shared comments including support of the proposed amendments:


Ms. Renee Gamble

Ms. Christi Menefee

Ms. Susie Winters

Ms. Carol W. B. Conner

Mr. Bill Gulliver

Ms. Tena Gulliver

Ms. Annette Reeves

Mr. David Sengel

Ms. Shelly Parsons

Mr. Stan Chamberlain

Ms. Pam Williamson

Ms. Anne Ward

Mr. Lee Stroupe

Ms. Shivonne Quintero


As there were no further comments, Commissioner Hodges, seconded by Vice-Chairman Kennedy, moved to close the public hearing.


VOTE:  Aye - 5

Nay - 0


County Manager Geouque stated that the March 7, 2017, regular meeting would be held prior to the expiration of the Development Moratorium on High Impact Land Uses on March 10, 2017.


Mr. Joe Furman addressed the following concerns raised during comments:


·       The proposed amendments do not have a provision for the Board of Adjustment to revoke permits.  Staff would have that authority.


·       The amount of time for notice to be given would not change the fact that a hearing would have to be conducted as a quasi-judicial, evidentiary hearing which would only allow those who had “standing,” as defined in the North Carolina General Statutes, to speak at the hearing.


·       Pre-existing, non-conforming land uses can continue to exist if they don’t cease to operate or exist for two years.  County Attorney di Santi stated that he had suggested the “two-year” time table as it was defensible according to the General Statutes.


After discussion, Commissioner Yates, seconded by Commissioner Turnbow, moved to recommend the amendments be changed to require a sixty day notice for permits with the notice to mailed to affected (adjacent and nearby) property owners, run continuous on the County’s website, and published in the paper twice (60 days and two weeks prior)


VOTE:  Aye - 5

Nay - 0


Discussion was held regarding the issue of motorsport activities and the County Attorney and staff were directed to address concerns in an updated draft for the March 7, 2017, Board meeting.


To address further concerns mentioned during public comment, Mr. Furman stated that the Citizens’ Plan for Watauga County was voluntary recommendations.


Vice-Chairman Kennedy, seconded by Commissioner Yates, moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:31 P.M.


VOTE:  Aye - 5

Nay - 0



John Welch, Chairman



Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board