After holding a public hearing last week, at its next meeting Jackson County Commissioners will likely approve an agreement allowing the Chinquapin housing development near Cashiers to expand the capacity of its planned 200-home neighborhood to 400.
It took only minutes for the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority to approve Nick Breedlove as its new contracted director last week, but for Breedlove that moment was months in the making. While the 30-year-old Webster mayor, journalist and photography business owner has plenty of tasks to fill his time, when he first heard the TDA was fishing for a director, it didn’t take long for him to decide to throw his hat in the ring.
Ever since the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad left Dillsboro in 2008, the little town has been just barely chugging along. But if the last year is any indication, things could be turning around for the tourist-centered village.
The race for county commissioner in District 3 of Jackson County will no longer be an uncontested one following Ron Mau’s decision to file as a Republican candidate.
“As for the Horseshoe Rock, it is one of those curving balds of solid rock. The depressions found on the rock are quite a curiosity, because of their great number, uniform size, and arrangement in long straight rows running parallel close together and at regular intervals; in fact, everything about them is so regular as to border on the supernatural …. One can visualize a herd of ponies coming up Horseshoe Rock from below by leaping past its more perpendicular part and then riding on in military formation abreast of one another to the top where they vanish in thin air.”
— T.W. Reynolds, High Lands (1964)
The start of business Thursday, Dec. 10, will mean the coming-to-order of five different court sessions in Jackson County, a giant figure for a county with only two actual courtrooms at its disposal. To meet demand, courts will be squirreled away wherever there’s space — in the commissioners’ boardroom, in the county law library, in the old courtroom that’s now the community room of the Jackson County Library.
It’s been more than two years since Jackson County finished a recreation master plan declaring an indoor pool a top priority, and leaders of the county’s Parks and Recreation Department and Recreation and Parks Advisory Board are itching to see the idea move closer to reality — this fall they voted to make getting a feasibility study done their number one goal.
In the nearly eight years the Cashiers-area Chinquapin development has been around, just 30 of the planned 200 lots have been sold, and only six homes have been constructed. But now the property is under new management, and its owners at Waterfront Group hope to double the number of units, estimating full build-out of the hoped-for 400 home sites within five years.
An application to build a new cell tower in Cashiers is back on the table, after the company, Crown Castle, yanked its original request in June.
Jackson County had been without a planning director for half a year when commissioners sent out a job offer this month. But the offer came back rejected, and the position will have to stay vacant for a little while longer.