THAT COULD BE DONE ONLY BY THE NC GENERAL ASSEMBLY...AND STATE REPRESENTATIVE CHUCK MCGRADY SAYS HE MAY CONSIDER OPTIONS
Even though Hendersonville city council’s May 4th meeting is two weeks away, when some critical decisions will likely be made concerning the proposed new $53 million campus for Hendersonville High School, emotions---and threats—are ramping up.
It has been rumored that if city council rejects the proposed zoning changes and closing a portion of Ninth Avenue West for the new school, state Representative Chuck McGrady is prepared to introduce legislation to de-annex the current high school and Boyd property from the city, thus eliminating the need for city zoning changes and shifting control of the whole HHS issue from the city back to the county. If such de-annexation did pass in the General Assembly, it would also leave a huge hole in the middle of town…that would no longer be part of the City of Hendersonville city but only a part of Henderson County.
WHKP News texted McGrady late Thursday…and he responded, “I have told Hendersonville that they need to apply their ordinances to the decisions relating to the renovation of the high school.” McGrady added, “There are several decisions they need to make to handle it in the normal course of business.”
We asked McGrady if de-annexation of the school and Boyd property from the city is a possibility…and he responded…”If they deny the zoning changes simply because they don’t like some aspect of the school design, that isn’t a zoning matter.” McGrady added, “Then, I’ll consider options.”
McGrady, in a text to us late on Thursday, said again, “If they apply their ordinance and handle it in the normal course of business, then I’ll have no problem.”
The whole issue will be decided in a quasi-judicial public hearing before city council on May 4th.
County commissioners are threatening to build the new school on one of seven possible site, all 5 to 10 miles outside he city, if the zoning changes ar rejected. Commissioners are also threatening to put the Boyd property up for sale, and had earlier threatened to drop the whole prospect of a new school if the changes were not approved. The county school board was given a similar ultimatum before they agreed to go along with the county’s proposed new campus…which does not include use of the historic Stillwell building that had been the main concern driving much of the opposition to the new campus by HHS staff, students, and alumni.
All this, along with the county’s move to take control of the city’s water system away from the city, has led to all-time low and further deteriorating relations between local city and county governments…and possibly between the city administration and the elected state representative.
And a decision and possible resolution of the issue is still at least two weeks away.
By Larry Freeman