Greetings fellow Montreaters,
The November Town Council meeting moved quickly although we did accomplish a lot of business. And as usual, we were most grateful for the folks who came out to observe and provide their comments during public comment periods.
Here are the highlights of the meeting:
- Public Forum questions/comments included:
- Montreat staff, particularly Public Works and Police, received many accolades for their work during the wind and rain storms we have endured over the past months. The staff has been busy removing trees and brush, fixing roads and culverts, cruising our roads during rainstorms to observe water runoff and fixing damage left by the storms. If you see Montreat staff, stop and thank them for their extreme efforts. They’ll appreciate it.
- Montreat College representative Sarah Baughman shared that the fourth annual Cyber Security Conference on Nov. 2 was quite a success, with more than 400 attendees. And, the annual Christmas Concert is scheduled for December 1. Everyone is invited to attend this highly anticipated event. She also thanked Alex and Mayor Pro Tem Kent Otto for their support in developing the campus parking plan, which was initiated at the beginning of the semester. It has been successful with much positive feedback.
- Speaking of parking, a question was asked about on-street parking and if it is legal. Alex commented that unless it is otherwise marked, on street parking is legal. Drivers should ensure they are safely on the shoulder and there is enough room for emergency vehicles to pass should the need arise. If you observe street parking issues, please call the Montreat Police Department.
- A Public Hearing was conducted regarding the proposed zoning of the new Town Hall property and four adjoining parcels that were annexed by Montreat earlier this year. Alex and Zoning Administrator, Adrienne Isenhower, explained the situation and answered several questions. Later in the meeting, the Council voted to zone the parcels as I/R, Industrial/Residential.
- Alex reported that one of the two Florida Terrace properties was sold in an upset bid offer. The winning bid was for $117,500. The adjoining lot is still available. More details are available on the website HERE, then going to Property Sale Bids. Alex also introduced the Town’s new Finance Officer, Darlene Carrasquillo. Stop by the office and welcome Darlene.
- The Commission voted to appoint Bill Scheu of Eastminster Terrace to the Planning and Zoning Committee. Bill has extensive real estate legal and planning experience.
- The Commission also discussed and subsequently voted on the issue of allowing public discussion for any topic during the two Public Comment periods. The motion needed a 2/3 majority vote, but did not receive it. It will be revisited next month.
- During Commissioner Communications, Commissioner Fouche offered a thorough update on the work of Montreat Landcare. Landcare is developing a Stream Watch program where folks “adopt” a section of Flat Creek and monitor and keep it clean. More on this later. She also shared about Landcare’s program to protect the important Hellbender population in our streams. Other important initiatives they’re involved in include encouraging homeowners to prepare and apply for a Certified Wildlife Habitat as well as preparing for a Firewise Certification. Thanks to Landcare for their important work. Commissioner Widmer gave a brief update on the Town Hall. The working team met with the architect recently to review all the information gained from the Public Input Session and the survey. The architect now has all the information he needs to begin developing designs. We’ll keep you informed
Please let me know if you have any questions on what was discussed or anything else for that matter. Write me at [email protected] or call me at 828/669-3852. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
We are honored to serve you,
Mayor Tim Helms on behalf of the Town Council
Here is a listing of the formal actions taken by the Commission in addition to those mentioned above:
- Approved minutes of the August 9 Public Forum and Town Council meetings, September 13 and October 11 Public Forum minutes, and the October 15 Special Meeting minutes
- Approved the appointment of William “Bill” Scheu to the Planning and Zoning Committee
- Approved the zoning of the five annexed parcels as Industrial/Residential
- Approved staff to include in the minutes that should MRA request a setback variance in the future, that the Council endorses such a request
- Did not pass a motion to amend the Rules of Procedure to allow discussion for any topic during the two Public Comment periods.