H193, that the governor can't veto) which will exempt the development of the Oscar and Suma Hardin House property (a.k.a, the Turner House) in downtown Boone from following the rules in Boone's Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). The Watauga County Commish wants to build a parking deck for the Courthouse, and they don't want to be bothered with following rules that will include a public hearing. If you recall, they refused a public hearing before they demolished that historic house.
That Ray Pickett, who served on the Blowing Rock Town Council and who would not, we think, have screwed his own town with a bill like this, is apparently happy to screw Boone speaks to a political moral compass somewhat out of whack.
The Town's UDO development standards apply to everyone, whether a government, a major or minor devloper, or even a person wanting to build a storage shed. Why should the big, powerful players be exempt from the rules all the rest of us have to follow just because they have the means and power to get a special law introduced in Raleigh?
But we have other questions. Who on the County Commission approached Pickett to get this bill introduced? And what secret meetings went on behind the scenes that led the Commission -- without ever taking a public vote that we know of -- to take this underhanded path. Who met with whom and who was there? And why the need to operate under cover and in the dark of night without public input or knowledge? And what says the Boone Town Council about such a blatant and dangerous subverting of local control?