Pocahontas County Commission Opposes RAD 2-1
At Tuesday night’s Pocahontas County Commission meeting, the commission opposed Snowshoe Mountain’s Resort Area District (RAD) by a vote of 2-1. The decision came after over an hour of comments from both property owners and commission members as questions and disagreements continued to arise.
- A boundary change was made to the RAD. The change was made to exclude property owners Charlie Bryant and David Litsey, whose deeds include an agreement that their properties will not be assessed for Snowshoe-related development.
- It was again brought up that the RAD should have a cessation clause, where the law included wording that gave property owners the chance to stop the RAD once it’s in effect. One suggestion was that the cessation require 25% of property owners to put it to a vote, then 50% of property owners to oppose the RAD.
- Because 3 of the 7 board member spots would be for property owners, it was suggested that the area be broken down into 3 districts so that there would be fair representation across the RAD.
Commissioner David Fleming made a motion to adopt the RAD with amendments that there should be a cessation clause included, and the boundaries should be amended to exclude Mr. Litsey and Mr. Bryant’s properties.
Commissioner Bill Beard commented on the number of disagreements he’d seen at the meeting. He said it would be a whole lot easier to vote on the RAD if there was less fighting over different issues. “I’ve come to the conclusion that we need more time to work some of these issues out so everything will be more clear for everybody and more comfortable for everybody,” Beard said. “I think at this time, I’m going to have to vote ‘no’ on it.”
During the meeting, Commissioner Jamie Walker had taken a poll to get a sense of how many people in the audience were opposed to the RAD and how many were in favor of it. The final tally showed 6 people opposed to the RAD and 10 in favor.
Walker explained that he’d received messages about the Resort Area District from 16 people in the last few days. “Every person of the 16 people I talked to wasn’t necessarily against the RAD, but they had problems with it,” Walker said. “So I’m not willing to move forward at this point until it’s more clear for everybody, more clear for me myself. However, personally, I feel it will be a good thing but I think it’s got a lot of details that need to be worked out before we move forward.”
Beard agreed with Walker, saying that he also feels the RAD is a good idea, but these issues concern him and they concern a lot of other people.
Snowshoe President Frank DeBerry said that there are 1,877 property holders and they’re not all going to agree. DeBerry said it’s been put to the county commission to make those decisions. “The great majority of the issues that have been raised are the same exact issues that were in front of you a year and a half ago,” he said.
Fleming said he hopes Mr. Walker and Mr. Beard have their concerns worked out soon. “The weight of this matter is such that we have great responsibility to make an important decision. I think we’ve followed the process very well, to the point where we have to trust the RAD Board to be elected and to take it from here. We shouldn’t have control of this from every aspect and every turn, and my fear is that this commission is trying to do that and getting into questions that really aren’t for us to try to openly answer.”
Because the commission voted to oppose Snowshoe Mountain’s Resort Area District, the process will be blocked until 2015.