At this morning’s monthly council meeting, the Cultural Landscape Group:Flat Rock, represented by member Stephanie Dunn, presented 73 petition signatures of those opposed to the N. Highland Lake Road project to the Flat Rock village council. These are in addition to the already 1,595 signatures presented to the council on April 12.
Here is CLG’s accompanying letter to the council:
Dear mayor and council members:
At the April 12 council meeting, we presented to you 1,595 signatures from those opposed to the N. Highland Lake Road project. Today we are submitting 73 more signatures, bringing the total to 1,668.
A majority of Flat Rock residents and property owners signed this petition because they are opposed to the project and agree with the following:
- N. Highland Lake Road is not a safety or capacity problem, as confirmed by NCDOT
- Waste of taxpayer money
- Takes private property for a nonessential purpose
- Inconsistent with Flat Rock’s designation in the National Register of Historic Places
These reasons hold true no matter what changes or tweaks NCDOT may make to the plans.
In addition to our petition signatures, we ask that you stand by your statements made at council meetings reflecting the council’s intent to cancel the project if Pinecrest Presbyterian Church and Western Carolina Regional Animal Hospital are not satisfied.
One instance of the council’s commitment occurred at the January 29, 2018, council agenda meeting. Starting at approx. the 43:10 minute mark, the transcript reads:
Council Member Weedman: But to me, the church, Pinecrest Presbyterian Church, the impact that this would have on them is intolerable. And, in fact, just in casual conversation with some, not all, with some [referring to other council members], if they [NCDOT] can’t satisfy Pinecrest Presbyterian Church, to me it’s a dead issue. It gets killed. . . To me, if Dr. Rosen is not satisfied, that kills the project, but that’s me speaking.
Council Member Jamerson: I believe it’s the council speaking.
Council Member Brown: It’s the council speaking.
Council Member Jamerson: (crosstalk) Everyone agrees.
Both Pinecrest Presbyterian Church and WCRAH continue to oppose the road project. In their April 21 letter to the council, Pinecrest writes they “must oppose this project and decline to sell or lease any of our property for use in this project.”
A May 8 statement received by CLG from Dr. Ted Owen and Dr. Fred Rosen of WCRAH says, “we stand with CLG:Flat Rock and the Pinecrest Presbyterian Church in opposing the DOT plan for Highland Lake Road. The proposed plan would have a major negative impact on the property, hospital operations and thus, the business of Western Carolina Regional Animal Hospital – Veterinary Emergency Hospital. The project will also negatively impact the church, Dale’s Automotive, the lake and the private homes along Highland Lake Road. We advocate dropping the plan entirely so as to maintain the beauty of Flat Rock as it already exists.”
We urge you to listen to your constituents, keep your word, and vote to cancel this road project.
Cultural Landscape Group:Flat Rock