Seven Devils seal

SEVEN DEVILS — Seven Devils Town Council clarified in no uncertain terms that it was not in support of a bill currently moving through the North Carolina state legislature during its Tuesday, April 13, meeting.

House Bill 401/Senate Bill 349 was filed March 24, and would change the relationship between property developers and local governments.

The bill would require municipalities to expand what types of properties can be built in their jurisdiction and allow “middle housing” — defined as duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes and townhouses in the proposed legislation — in areas already zoned for residential use as a way to create affordable housing.

Towns such as Boone have already vocally opposed the proposed legislation, fearing it would disrupt lives of residents and diminish property values, as the Seven Devils Town Council pointed out in its resolution denouncing the bill.

“Development would become uncontrolled and reckless with little to no regard for property owners rights, not to mention the added stress and demand on a municipality’s infrastructure, which would eventually lead to declining property values,” the resolution from the Seven Devils Town Council read.

The resolution also criticized the “one size fits all” approach to land use the town believes the bill proposes.

“Increased housing does not guarantee more affordable housing, nor does this legislation,” the resolution states.

The resolution was unanimously approved by the board.

Also on the council’s agenda were two budget amendments, with the first being for replacing a failed HVAC unit in Town Hall. The unit cost from McGuire Mechanical totaled $8,739, which was approved by the board.

The other amendment was to account in the 2021 fiscal year budget for the expense of replacing a brush chipper for the Public Works Department totaling $51,282, which was approved unanimously.

After amending their budgets, the board approved a revised, proposed Fiscal Year 2022 spending plan.

With $2,024,932 set as as a general fund, the plan includes $564,491 for public safety, $472,303 for administrative funds, $451,115 for public works and $300,000 to the Tourism Development Authority, among other expenses.

The board approved the revised plan, setting a public hearing on the matter for 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 11. The public hearing will serve as a precursor for the board’s regular monthly meeting in May, which will be the same day.

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