Weaverville – The Monticello Road area is full of construction activity, if Monday’s town council water line extension requests and information provided from Buncombe County Planning and Zoning is any indication. Council members and some residents voiced concerns over the impact these water line extensions will have on the town.
A new Sonic restaurant and two, separate, Monticello Road apartment complexes with plans for more than 400 apartments are in the works. Talk of a new hotel for the area has also surfaced.
The Sonic is designated for a property near Telco, 34 Northcrest Road, behind Walmart. Water extension for the project has been granted by council. According to Public Works Director Tony Laughter, the project has a few more steps to take before construction to begin, but expects a completed project within as little as three months.
Blue Ridge Crossing is planned for the area between Monticello and Garrison Branch roads. The apartment complex project was approved for a water line extension by town council Monday. Each unit will receive an estimated 229 gallons of water on average per unit, Laughter told council.
The complex will include 244 apartment units with a pool, dog park, walking trails and other amenities, according to information provided to council. Broken down, the complex will have 94 one-bedroom units, 112 two-bedroom units and 18 three-bedroom units.Read more...
Local attorney, Wilder Wadford, is a member of the Garrison Branch Investors, who are backing the project, and represented the group.
Berkley Hall Construction, a Greensboro company, has already been approved for a water line extension and currently has 168 apartments under construction at 145 Monticello Road, according to plans submitted to Buncombe County. The complex will sit on 14.04 acres.
The apartments will have seven apartment buildings, four garages and surface parking, maintenance building, car wash, club house and pool.
Hagen Engineering of Greensboro told council the Blue Ridge project was in the beginning stages. “We determined that your town has water that is readily available,” said Barret Hagen, president at Hagen Engineering. “We understand that if you allow us to put a water line in,” he continued, “we will need to voluntarily be annexed into the town of Weaverville, which we would be happy to do.”
Andrew Nagle, council member, generated some discussion about the repeated requests for water with new construction. “We’ve talked about this is in the past, at some point, we need to get back together and discuss how much (water) we are going to sell,” Nagle said, but specified his statement was unrelated to the Blue Ridge project.
According to Public Works Director Tony Laughter, the impact of the two Monday evening water requests, the Sonic restaurant and Blue Ridge Crossing apartment complex, will equal about 23.6 percent of the available capacity in the town’s water supply.
Last weeks headlines
Exclusive details about
By Heather Berry
Weaverville – Randy Len Bradburn, 47, of Weaverville, was arrested June 10 on two felony counts of indecent liberties with a child. Warrants for these felony counts were dated July 27, 2015, according to a Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department arrest report. While the report also shows Bradburn’s address on Locust Grove Road, a source close to Bradburn has spoken to the Tribune and confided Bradburn has been homeless since December, along with providing other details surrounding the arrest.
According to the source, who asked to remain anonymous, Bradburn was asked to leave his home in December and has been living out of his car, a blue Ford Focus, since this time. Family members, said the source, have noticed Bradburn’s car parked in the Walmart parking in recent months.
Leslie Wright, a Walmart spokesperson, said the store has no knowledge of Bradburn living in the parking lot currently. Wright said the company policy, when a similar problem arises, is to contact authorities. “This isn’t a common complaint, but when it does come up, we work with authorities. The safety of our customers and associates always comes to mind,” she said. “We have no knowledge of any homeless individuals living in the parking lot at this time,” she added.Read more...
The source said family members, last year, became concerned about pornography found on Bradburn’s computer, leading to his being asked to leave the family home where children were present. The family notified law enforcement about Bradburn’s activities, the source said.
The source urged parents with children who may have had contact with Bradburn to discuss any interaction. Bradburn, according to the arrest report and the source, was employed at the Weaverville Ingles.
The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office and the Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office was contacted for this article, but didn’t respond by press time.
Bradburn should be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Lake Louise development protested
By Emily Ostertag
Weaverville — A group of Lake Louise residents gathered in front of the Weaverville Town Hall around 9:30 a.m. Thursday to protest the proposed development of 21 homes at 97 Lakeshore Drive. Protesters met the night before at the Weaverville Community Center to discuss the proposed development.
“It’s nice to have housing for people, and affordable housing, because that’s what this project is,” Lake Louise resident Thomas Veasey said. “But not right in the showcase of your town, which is that park,” he added.
Some protesters said a Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting was scheduled for Thursday morning, but, according to Al Root, head of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, no meeting took place. Instead, according to Root, a meeting between Mayfair Partners (developers on the project), Town Manager Selena Coffey and town staff was being held to discuss proposed changes to parking.Read more...
“When I walked in the door (town hall) a gentleman came out and introduced himself as a detective and said, ‘this is the law.’ He said that this is not open to the public,” said Tom Plaut, organizer of the protest and spokesperson for the protesters. “We’re really done here. I think now it’s up to the attorneys, and that’s just the next step,” he added.
Bernie Koesters, former Weaverville Town Council member and concerned resident, explained his understanding that a closed hearing was being held and the approval of this development rests solely in the hands of various department heads. The development plan, said Koesters, is being re-worked to fit 10 additional parking spaces without effecting the park’s recreation area.
“If the plan is approved, subject to a new drawing, the drawing only has to be approved by the board,” Koester explained.
Veasey discussed the next steps of action with Plaut by citing zoning law proceedings. According to research done by Willetta Thompson, another community member, if the need for additional evidence arises the board must afford all affected parties with reasonable notice that the hearing will be reopened, read Veasey.
Residents’ attempts to make a statement or appearance during Thursday’s meeting was unsuccessful, Plaut explained, and their next step is going to be asserting this same stance at a public meeting. “Or, we can just let the attorneys take over,” Plaut said.
“We’re talking actively,” Plaut continued. “We were talking to attorneys this morning. We hoped it wouldn’t go to this point, but it is going to,” he continued.
Willetta Thompson, the resident who took it upon herself to research zoning law, explained her concern is for the remaining pieces of property around town. The new zoning in the township worries her, she said.
“My primary concern is that the area behind us, which is a beautiful little valley, is zoned R1, and if they can just strike down zoning and build multiple units, I really worry about that,” Thompson explained in reference to the recent passing of the changes in zoning density from eight units to 12 per acre.
Koschnick was a vocal member of the protest, who explained this same thing happened in his pacific northwestern hometown. It went from a town of 1,400 to 12,000 people overnight, and he does not want this to happen in Weaverville, he continued. Developers turned his hometown into a wasteland. This could easily happen here, he said, if precautions are not taken by concerned residents.
“If nothing else, this is to raise our expectations as residents of Weaverville that there is something better for us and that transparency in government is our right, but that citizens need to be active to get that,” Koschnick explained. “I would love to see a residents’ association in Weaverville that keeps track of this stuff. It’s too easy to conduct government undercovers and money talks. The more we can monitor, the better we’ll all be.”
The protest in front of town hall concluded with the decision to seek further action through attorneys. Lake Louise residents will continue to meet once a week for further deliberation on the matter and will attempt to be heard at future town meetings. Tom Plaut and others still plan to make a statement about the proposed development at 97 Lakeshore Dr. during the June 20, town council meeting.
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