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Jackson County Commissioners OK Building MOratorium

Posted by Thunder Pig on March 9, 2007

SYLVA — Weighing the risk of job losses against a spike in mountainside developments, the Jackson County commissioners voted 4-1 Thursday to impose a controversial five-month moratorium on any new subdivision projects.
[snip]
Despite the vocal opposition to the moratorium evident at the public hearing and at Thursday’s meeting, Massie said the majority of mail,

e-mail and phone calls that he and other officials had received showed most citizens wanted a halt called.

[snip]

Chairman Brian McMahan wasn’t so sure. He cast the only negative vote, winning much of the crowd’s applause.

“I don’t think the moratorium is a tool that’s going to help us,” McMahan said. “Is there the potential that someone could lose this job? If that’s the case, I can’t support it.”

[snip]

With the moratorium of six months as initially proposed, Jackson County stands to lose $72.5 million in taxable revenues and $32 million in direct labor payroll for a loss of 1,605 jobs, according to James Carland, a Western Carolina University professor of entrepreneurship. Carland prepared his report for concerned property owners opposed to the moratorium.

“These are just working people. That doesn’t include professionals,” said Sam Lupas, a Cashiers real estate agent. Carland’s report estimated that brokers, lawyers, appraisers, engineers and others could see 20 percent of their annual earnings evaporate with the moratorium.

Read the entire article at the Asheville Citizen-Times

Just from reading what is in the AC-T article, and not having read the actual resolution, I think this moratorium is paper tiger. I would think the 25-acre threshold on a moratorium would mean that a project could be broken down to fly under the radar. But this is just speculation at this time.

On a personal note, there is a subdivision going up next to the one where I work just outside of Maggie Valley, and there is only one Trackhoe and Bulldozer working, and these guys have cleared about 50 acres by themselves in about a month, so I can see where this would hurt even a small work crew. The subdivision I am working on is on really steep land, so we are having to clear it by hand, because it is too steep for equipment to work.
Most of the roads were built by loggers decades ago, and will only need a little blasting to widen for putting in the house pads this spring and summer.

The steepest slops I ever saw houses put on was in the Highlands area, where I shingled a few houses where the drop off was more than a hundred feet on several occasions, and I eventually stopped because I came close to falling off more than I could handle.

One good thing that will come out of encroachment on Private Property Rights is that it will provide an inroads for conservative activists to “activate” local conservatives and organize citizens to begin taking back their government from these Socialist Policy Decisions. A concerted effort must be made to find more suitable candidates to replace these commissioners when their seats come up for election, and repeal the restrictions that would choke off economic development.

Barring that, I would love to see an Atlas Shrugged scenario take place where the operators of the economic engine just step away nd let everything come to a halt. But, not yet. The battle is still winnable through conventional means.

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