IT COULD BE BEARCAT BLVD...WITHOUT THE BEARCATS ALL SEVEN SITES ARE FIVE TO TEN MILES FROM DOWNTOWN HENDERSDONVILLE AND THE CURRENT HHS
"SO WE DON'T HAVE TO DEAL WITH THEIR ZONING AND THEIR QUIRKS."---COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIRMAN MICHAEL EDNEY
IF CITY COUNCIL REJECTS ZONING AND OTHER CHANGES FOR THE PROPOSED $53 MILLION FIVE POINTS CAMPUS
Faced with the possible rejection by Hendersonville city council of the Boyd Five Points site for a new Hendersonville High School campus, county commissioners and staff are reportedly looking at seven other possible sites, all some five to ten miles outside the city, for a new HHS campus.
The city’s planning board, in a split 5 to 3 vote, turned thumbs down this spring on zoning changes for the proposed $53 million campus at the Five Points site citing safety and incompatibility with the surrounding neighborhoods as well as other concerns. The whole issue now moves on to city council at their meeting on May 4th. Council, as part of what’s called a quasi-judicial public hearing, will have to decide whether to over-rule the planning board and approve the necessary zoning changes and the closing of a portion of Ninth Avenue West and allow the new campus as proposed.
County commissioners earlier threatened to drop the whole possibility of a new HHS campus unless the city agrees with their plans for the former Boyd Automotive property. But News 13 is reporting this week that county commission chairman Michael Edney says if the city turns down the Five Points site and one of the seven possible sites outside the city is selected, “we (the county) don’t have to deal with their zoning and their quirks.” And Edney is quoted as referring to the seven sites, all of them five to ten miles outside the city, as a “contingency plan”.
County manager Steve Wyatt confirmed for News 13 that he had visited the seven sites, and apparently would not identify their locations. Edney said “If they (apparently the landowners) know its government, generally the price doubles or triples.”
City council member Ron Stephens told News 13 this week that “It’s very upsetting…they are threatening us”. Stephens pointed out that three of the five sitting county commissioners are up for election this year, and speculates it will be political suicide for the commissioners to move Hendersonville High School outside the city. Stephens earlier expressed opposition to the county’s proposal for the new campus, which does not include the historic Stillwell building as part of it…but Stephens says he’s not sure how he’ll vote on May 4th because, he says, “we’ll be getting additional information and facts.” At least one other city council member, Jerry Smith, a teacher at Hendersonville High School, has expressed his opposition to the proposed new Five Points campus and Mayor Barbara Volk reportedly expressed her opposition to the proposal.
Edney’s “contingency plan”, at least in News 13’s report, does not mention the historic Stillwell building…which has been the main concern and cause of opposition to the proposed new campus by staff, students, and alumni at Hendersonville High School.
By Larry Freeman