It’s not quite the Jetsons’ flying car, but Jackson County is moving toward its own fleet of new-age vehicles powered by the emerging alternative fuel propane.

Recycling receptacles are coming to downtown Sylva soon, at last giving shoppers and strollers a green option for pitching their bottles, cans, cups and last week’s copy of The Smoky Mountain News.

The debate over the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority budget was bumped up another notch last week when dozens of business owners and members of the Cashiers community flooded a budget meeting demanding more money for the Cashiers visitor center.

coverCharged with stealing, 15-year-old Charles Eason was sentenced to work on a prison chain gang.

It was 1882, and the teenager from Martin County soon found himself side-by-side with other convicts, many two and three times his age. Mostly from the eastern part of the state, the gang was sent to construct the railroad lines in Western North Carolina.

Cullowhee community activists have finally made headway in a push to create a community land-use plan to regulate growth and development in the area.

The effort to introduce zoning laws in Cullowhee is being taken up by Jackson County Commissioners at an upcoming workshop at 2 p.m. June 17 at the county’s Administration and Justice Building near Sylva.

Repairs to the dam at Balsam Lake in the Nantahala National Forest have been delayed because of high creek levels, leaving the popular lake drained as the Western North Carolina tourist season gets under way.

Jackson County commissioners will discuss two sets of proposed planning regulations at an upcoming workshop at 2 p.m. on June 17 in the county’s Justice and Administration Building.

One of the items being considered is a new ordinance that was written addressing groundwater recharge in the county. 

Regulations previously existed as part of a larger ordinance but have been separated out into their own draft ordinance. The recharge ordinance addresses issues like requiring impervious surfaces for development to ensure precipitation can be re-absorbed by the ground.

The other item on the agenda is a set of proposed changes to a section of the county’s subdivision ordinance that dictates how much of a development must be left in open space. The proposed changes are generally less stringent than what the county currently has on the books.

Although the changes have been approved by the county’s planning board, any changes to the laws must be passed by commissioners. The drafts of these ordinances were completed last fall, but commissioners have not taken them up until now. A public hearing on the proposed changes could be held as early as the commission’s second meeting in July and voted on that same day. 

A new Jackson County liquor store will soon be under construction in Cashiers, with plans to open for business by early next year.

Jackson County commissioners were implored by library advocates this week to give the Sylva and Cashiers libraries a sizeable bump in their budget. 

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