Wednesday, December 17, 2014

It's Now Open-Season on Boone's Steep Slopes

Last night the Watauga County Commission, under a new Republican chair Jimmy Hodges, voted unanimously to impose a 90-day moratorium on the former Boone Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) for the following types of land-uses only:
Asphalt Plants
Electricity Generating Facilities
Propane or Gasoline Bulk Storage Facilities
Chip Mills
Explosives Manufacturing
Chemical Manufacturing
Chemical Storage Facilities
Fuel Oil Bulk Storage Facilities
Electric Substations
Cement Mixing Facilities
Commercial/Industrial development with aggregate building footprint 50,000 square feet or greater
Though many ETJ residents who spoke during the public hearing mentioned large college student apartment complexes as a major concern in their ETJ neighborhoods, the moratorium does not apply to large college student apartment complexes, nor to single-family and other multi-family residences.

Perhaps that's why there was no pushback at the public hearing from big developers. None of them are planning to build any of the above, when the big money is to be made from renting space to college students. Even Phil Templeton piously said he was in favor of this particular moratorium, because it clearly does not apply to what he has in mind.

Of course, this moratorium could be quickly mooted by the three-judge panel in Raleigh that is considering the town of Boone's legal challenge to Senator Dan Soucek's ETJ power-grab.

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