Montreat Minute 01/07/2022

Montreat Minute for January 7, 2022

Board of Adjustment Hearing Concludes: Approves Lodge

The Montreat Board of Adjustment (BOA) concluded the Special Use Permit hearing last night for a 40-room hotel requested by the Mountain Retreat Association (MRA). After 50 hours of total testimony, beginning in October, final summations were given by both sides yesterday afternoon. The BOA then publicly deliberated for nearly two hours, reaching the decision to grant the Special Use Permit with conditions. A summary of the conditions associated with the permit will be released as soon as final language of the conditions is available. The recording of yesterday’s final hearing and deliberation is available on the Town’s YouTube Channel which can be found here.

We are especially grateful to the Board of Adjustment for the time they devoted to the hearing. These volunteers, including Mark Spence (Chair), Martha Chastain, Ann Kelso Hewitt, Eleanor James, Robert Sulaski, Bill Solomon and Margaret Waterstradt, dedicated themselves to the time needed to complete the process. It was over and above the Town’s expectations.

Town Council Meeting Thursday December 9

The Montreat Town Council will meet for its monthly meeting next Thursday, January 13, at 7:00pm in the Town Hall. Because of the more than 24 hours of BOA testimony this week, we regret that the agenda packet will not be available until Monday.  A Special Montreat Minute will be issued on Monday with a link to the agenda packet and live streaming instructions.

It is an open meeting but please wear a mask, which will be available. The Public Forum will precede the Council meeting at 6:30pm. Everyone is invited.

Did You Know?

Youth programming has long been a vital part of the Montreat experience.  Dr. Robert Anderson noted in his 1912 report to the Mountain Retreat Association Stockholders that many families visited Montreat in the summer and while parents attended conference sessions, there was a need for programming for their children.  He hired three “skilled leaders” (probably school teachers who were available in the summer) to provide such programming and organized the Boys Athletic Club and the Campfire Girls.  He also ensured a kindergarten for the “little ones.”  Anderson noted that activities included religious exercises as well as outdoor amusements and recreation. 

While he was not more specific, many of the activities probably occurred on the ball field (still in existence) where the boys had a small club house.  In 1916 MRA constructed the Girls Club building and in 1926 the Boys Club building.  In 1924 Anderson hired S. L. Woodward, a seasoned public-school administrator, as principal of the fledgling Normal School.  Woodward was also in charge of the Boys Club, Girls Club (no longer known as Campfire Girls), and the newly established Camp Montreat for Girls.  While Camp Montreat closed in 1967, the club program, as well numerous youth conferences, continue to provide a positive Montreat experience for young people.

Thanks to the Presbyterian Heritage Center, especially Nancy Midgette, for this glimpse from the past. Stop by the PHC for even more Montreat history and so much more.

Updates and Reminders

  • The Planning & Zoning Commission will meet on Thursday, January 13, at 10:30 in the Town Hall. The public is invited, although masks are required. It will also be live streamed. For streaming instructions and the agenda visit the website early next week.
  • The Public Works Department is picking up Christmas trees on Wednesdays. Simply bring your tree to the curb and the crew will remove them.


Do you have Town-related questions you would like answered? If so, please send them to Angela Murphy at [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Have a great weekend!