Three new developments move forward in Waynesville

At a time when Waynesville’s appearance standards are under scrutiny for being too strict, three proposed developments cruised past the town’s Community Appearance Commission.

Last week, the advisory board approved the Noland Retail Center and Holland Car Wash, both on South Main Street near Wal-Mart, and a new Verizon Wireless store on Russ Avenue.

Such smooth sailing for these three projects seems incongruous with claims that the standards are potentially driving developers away.

But there are easy explanations for why these projects passed the community appearance board relatively quickly, said Daniel Hyatt, landscape architect and project manager for the Noland Retail Center and Holland Car Wash.

According to Hyatt, developers who hire local designers are generally familiar with the types of developments the town desires. They can draft a site plan that meets the standards without revisiting the drawing board multiple times. The retail center and the car wash proved that by passing the appearance board on their first try.

But that approval alone is insufficient to begin building, as the appearance board serves only in an advisory capacity.

“Make no mistake, we still have a sizeable amount of work to do on both of these projects to make the letter of the ordinance,” said Hyatt, who recused himself as chairman of the community appearance board to present the two projects.

Corporate developers usually come to the table with the same site plans they’ve used time and again. These are the developers who are less likely to bend to the will of the town.

“When they come into a community like Waynesville that has fairly restrictive design requirements, then they have a lot of difficulty,” said Hyatt. “It gives them a lot of heartburn.”

None of the three projects will have to come back to the board unless there’s a drastic change in the site plan, Hickox said.


Scrutinizing the standards

While the design standards promote pedestrian usage, they don’t take into account auto-centric businesses, like drive-thrus, car washes and pay-at-the-pump gas stations.

The town’s standards push parking lots to the side or rear of buildings rather than in front — a move aimed at creating a more appealing streetscape where attractive building facades, instead of asphalt, take center stage. But some businesses were left out.

“Nobody thought when they put the land development standards in, how are we going to make a gas station work under these,” said Hickox.

The steering committee that’s reviewing the land development standards has also placed the appearance commission under the microscope.

Since the standards went into effect in 2003, the appearance board has sometimes been stymied because it can only make recommendations to developers, not demands.

The other obstacle in the commission’s path is that it is the first stop in the permit chain, very early on in the process.

“At which time, a lot of the details aren’t really worked out,” said Hyatt.

Developers can only paint pictures with broad brushstrokes for the appearance board. For example, they can only point out where the large trees or small trees might go, not provide details like the genus and species of every plant.

As the steering committee works to improve the standards and take these concerns into account, the public is invited to take part.

Anyone can get involved in the process by crafting and presenting a well-thought amendment, Hickox said.

Hyatt himself appreciates the chance to work on the standards before they are vetted by the public, town board and town staff.

“It’s nice to be clued in on the front of this discussion,” said Hyatt.

Fix the flaws, stay the course

Waynesville’s land-use plan is an ambitious set of ideas adopted during a booming economic era and thus full of the optimism of such times. Now that times are tougher, we hope task force members charged with updating the plan don’t forsake its guiding principles, a pedestrian-friendly new urbanism that is well-suited to meet future challenges.

Waynesville’s regulations guiding development and growth were adopted in 2002 after 29 months of public input. The rules address everything from building placement on lots to landscaping and signs, and the plan is marked by a decidedly liberal mixed-use philosophy that allows contrasting uses in close proximity as long as certain standards are met.

Since its adoption, there have been many flashpoints as town leaders sought to allay the concerns of builders and developers and address flaws in the plan. Finally, the decision was made to appoint a blue-ribbon task force to update the regulations, and that group has been working for months on modifications.

As expected, parking is one most contentious issues. Current regulations guide parking to the rear of buildings, creating a street wall that re-creates a downtown look rather than the traditional setbacks that give parking lots the dominant spot in nearly all commercial development. A big question is whether this look — examples include the CVS pharmacy and McDonald’s on Russ Avenue — forces too many concessions from business owners, and whether it is practical at all as one of the plan’s guiding philosophies.

We think it is. While concessions can be made in certain areas of town and on particular lots, we believe strongly that the pedestrian-guided growth will remain popular. Years fly by fast, and this land-use plan needs to look to the future. We’re not talking about next year or even five years from now, but more like 25 or 30 years down the road.

A couple of decades from now more people will be walking and biking, and we will have more mass transit. More and more people have decided that protecting what’s special about their communities is tied to the personal choices they make. In other words, shopping near one’s home and not being so dependant on the automobile and fossil fuels are important if our small towns are to thrive. This kind of future fits perfectly with the new urbanism land-use model that Waynesville has adopted.

As is always the case, the future depends on what happens now. Waynesville has to modify its land-use plan to fix the flaws, but let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater. The new urbanism model will evolve, but it is growing in popularity for many very important and essential reasons. Communities who get on board early — and stay the course — will reap the benefits in the decades to come.

Waynesville panel may recommend rolling back rear parking mandate

A movement is afoot to roll back some of the smart growth principles of Waynesville’s land-use plan by loosening commercial development guidelines.

A blue-ribbon committee appointed by the town has spent the past few months combing through the town’s land-use plan, which espouses a progressive “new urbanism” philosophy.

The plan promotes pedestrian-friendly development and aesthetic standards for commercial development in an attempt to preserve small-town character. Several members of the committee question whether the new urbanism model is realistic, however.

Joe Taylor, one of committee members, said the ideals in the land-use plan are utopian and don’t take current development patterns into account.

“It can be done if you start with a clean sheet of paper. If we are going to create a new town, fine, go for it,” Taylor said.

The committee’s composition is weighted toward business interests.

“We have people on that board making recommendations that make sense for doing business,” Taylor said.

Public Works Director Fred Baker said that commercial interests were perhaps underrepresented on the citizen task force that helped write the land-use plan earlier this decade. The current blue-ribbon committee was constituted to give them a voice, especially given their ongoing complaints over the regulations.

Ron Leatherwood, a contractor on the committee, said he didn’t get involved when the town was writing the guidelines, despite literally dozens of public input meetings held over the course of three years.

“A lot of us in the business community didn’t realize the consequence of the written word on the table,” Leatherwood said. “At the end of the day, I am not seeing us doing a great deal of changes except in two or three areas. We have to have some type of hybrid of this.”

But Baker isn’t sure a hybrid is possible. Baker has long had the 13 principles of new urbanism tacked up on the wall of his office. He said they work in unison, and if you ignore more than two or three, the whole vision collapses.

Leatherwood questioned whether Waynesville in general has the population to support new urbanism. The concept is based on people living, working and shopping in a close-knit, pedestrian-friendly environment, but it relies on residential populations being able to support nearby mixed-use commercial districts.

Taylor also wonders whether the model is possible today. Society no longer functions like it did in the 1950s, when people walked to their neighborhood grocer, Taylor said. But advocates of new urbanism want to remake society by forcing commercial developments into a mold that doesn’t work on the ground, Taylor added.


Parking lot saga

One of the most contentious points addressed by the committee is parking lot configurations for new commercial development. The town’s plan bans parking lots directly in front of buildings. By placing parking to the rear and side of businesses instead, the streetscape is defined by building facades, sidewalks and street trees rather than expansive asphalt parking lots.

Despite the aesthetic benefits, the regulation is not always practical, according to some committee members.

“Parking, as we knew going into it, is probably going to be the biggest issue,” said Town Planner Paul Benson. “I think they all feel like we are being too restrictive by not allowing any parking in front of the building. Certainly we have heard that from the development community.”

Taylor said it is ridiculous to ban parking in front of buildings.

“People tend to go where the crowd is,” Taylor said. “That is pretty much human nature to say, ‘That place is doing business, let’s go in there.’ Hide all the vehicles and you take that factor away.”

Baker said the purpose of the rule is to create an “active pedestrian environment.”

“That is difficult to do if you have only left a little strip of sidewalk between the parking lot and road. It visually sets the automobile above all other considerations,” Baker said.

Craig Lewis, a planning consultant with the Lawrence Group in the town of Davidson who is steering the review process, said auto-centric development doesn’t stand the test of time. One strip mall is simply abandoned by shoppers and merchants alike when a new one comes along.

“Areas that are pedestrian friendly have become more successful than areas that are automobile friendly,” Lewis said. “We are talking about creating places that people care about.”

But Leatherwood said the “new urbanism” vision can still be achieved through other techniques to buffer the look of asphalt parking lots.

“By still having tree canopies or street walls or some kind of streetscape, you don’t have the impact of a large parking lots directly on the street,” Leatherwood said. “You can soften the street.”

Committee member Patrick McDowell pointed to a small strip mall in the greater downtown area called Haywood Square, which wouldn’t be allowed under the town’s current land-use plan.

Engineer Patrick Bradshaw countered that it’s not a bad thing to force developers to think outside the box.

“Surely we are brighter than just a strip mall duplicated time and again. What we keep trying to do is move these strip malls around. While it is suitable for some locations, we can do better,” said Bradshaw, who sits on the committee.

Lewis said Waynesville’s land-use plan has been a trendsetter.

“More and more communities are doing it, but it is still not the norm and certainly not in the mountains. I think Waynesville has led a lot of conversations in the mountains because they have said ‘We care about the aesthetics of our community,’” Lewis said.

But even Lewis isn’t a purist when it comes to no parking in front. To insist there can never be parking in front of a building is impractical, Lewis said. Lewis has proposed a compromise that would allow a portion of parking to be allowed in front of buildings in a few of the town’s high-traffic commercial areas, namely Russ Avenue, the Dellwood/Junaluska area and the interchange near the new Super Wal-Mart.

“I think it is a good compromise,” Benson said. “Some districts lend themselves to new urbanism more than others.”

But several committee members want the compromise extended to more parts of town. They also want more parking spots in the front than the limited number Lewis has proposed.

That debate has yet to fully play out and the differences of opinion could ultimately lead to a split vote in the committee’s final recommendation.


What’s next

The committee is still a few months away from making its recommendations. The task has been rigorous. The committee had been meeting every other Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. for three months, allowing the members to get on with their workday by 9 a.m. They have now ramped up the schedule to meet every week.

“It is a hard-working advisory committee,” Baker said. “The town is certainly getting a lot of work and a lot of good ideas from them.”

Baker noted that the recommendations will be just that, however.

“There might be some that don’t necessarily make it through,” Baker said.

Final approval resting with the town’s elected leaders following public input.

“I don’t see the town board wanting to reverse course completely on the parking issue,” Benson said. “I think we are all just looking for a way to add some flexibility without compromising the pedestrian focus.”

Maggie ABC store captures share of Waynesville business

The recession has taken a toll on liquor sales at the ABC stores in Maggie Valley and Waynesville, in turn reducing the profits paid out to the towns.

Rather than curtailing their intake, customers are buying cheaper brands, according to Joy Rasmus, manager of the Waynesville ABC store.

“It is an easy thing to cut back on. It is a luxury item,” Rasmus said.

Meanwhile, fewer tourists during the recession hurt sales at Maggie’s main ABC store. Austin Pendley, the chairman of the Maggie ABC board, cited “the lack of full motel rooms” as the main factor behind a drop in sales.

Maggie Valley’s ABC store has noticed a further decline in business following the rockslide on I-40, which closed part of the interstate and discouraged travel.

“We could tell an immediate difference,” Pendley said.

That said, the rockslide occurred just when the tourist season was winding down anyway, making it difficult to determine what can be blamed on the rockslide versus the standard drop off Maggie sees this time of year anyway.

“There are too many variables this year,” Pendley said, adding that sales will pick up again when ski season arrives in full force.

Maggie is also bracing for a potential loss in ABC revenue with the advent of liquor at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel. The hotel at Harrah’s began selling alcohol in restaurants and bars this fall, with hopes of eventually offering it inside the casino itself.

Maggie’s ABC store had been a favorite stop for those en route to Harrah’s.

“It will definitely have an effect. There’s no doubt about that, but to what degree I do not know,” Pendley said.

Maggie’s ABC store did a brisk business in miniature airplane bottles, which gamblers would tuck into their pockets and purses before heading over the mountain to the casino.

If and when Harrah’s begins offering alcohol to gamblers on the casino floor, Pendley expects a drop off in sales of airplane bottles.

Turf wars

In a tactical move to grow revenues, Maggie Valley opened a second ABC store this year aimed at capturing business from Waynesville. Maggie’s second store is on the outer fringes of town — more than a mile outside the town proper. Maggie annexed a satellite tract into its town limits to strategically build a new store between Maggie and Waynesville on U.S. 19 in Dellwood.

“Building store number two has been very gratifying,” Pendley said.

The second store likely pulled some business away from Maggie’s existing ABC store.

“We knew some portion would be siphoned from store number one. We don’t know how much,” Pendley said, citing the myriad variables at play this year.

Since Maggie’s new store opened, revenue at Waynesville’s ABC profits have taken a dive (see chart). While Maggie ABC revenue has grown by an additional $30,000 to $50,000 a month since the opening of the new store, Waynesville’s has dropped by a comparable amount.

The drop in revenue came as no surprise to Joy Rasmus, the manager of the Waynesville ABC store.

“We were expecting an impact, but we didn’t know how much,” Rasmus said.

Waynesville once captured a large share of the liquor purchases in the county by default. Residents from the county’s outlying areas come to Waynesville for their grocery shopping. While in the neighborhood, they would stop by the ABC store.

But Maggie’s new store — stationed practically at Waynesville’s doorstep — is snagging a share of what Waynesville once got.

It’s particularly true for those making a special trip from places like Lake Junaluska and Jonathan Creek.

“If you were just coming to town to buy alcohol, it is easier to stop at Maggie’s new store,” Rasmus said.

In response, Waynesville’s ABC Board is contemplating a new store of its own: one in the vicinity of the new Super Wal-Mart. Super Wal-Mart pulls in a huge volume of traffic, which Rasmus would like to capitalize on.

The current ABC store in Waynesville has been there since 1967.

“Absolutely we’ve outgrown it,” Rasmus said.

The Waynesville ABC Board is keeping an eye out for property to build on in the Super Wal-Mart vicinity, but there’s nothing concrete in the works yet.

“In a perfect world, it would be nice to keep two stores,” Rasmus said.

Opening a new ABC store isn’t cheap, Pendley said. There’s the cost of land and construction, but there’s also start up costs like shelving and a computer system. The upfront inventory cost to stock the store was “overwhelming,” Pendley added.

“We had no idea that there was going to be a recession or we probably wouldn’t have done it at this time, but we were too far committed not to go ahead with it,” Pendley said of the second store.

But Pendley is glad they did. The second store has already proven lucrative and will continue to pay off for the town, which reaps the profits from ABC operations.

“The whole purpose is to get more revenue to keep down taxes,” Pendley said of their mission.

Developers have plans for sites near Wal-Mart

A local developer has purchased a key parcel alongside Super Wal-Mart in Waynesville, potentially kick-starting long-awaited commercial redevelopment along the South Main Street corridor.

The coming of Super Wal-Mart was heralded as an instant recipe for growth around it. But by the time Wal-Mart opened its doors a year ago, the recession was in full swing. Not only has a South Main boom failed to materialize, but Home Depot killed plans to open a store there.

But Brian Noland, a Waynesville developer and Realtor, is drafting plans for a retail strip sporting six storefronts along South Main Street with hopes of attracting national franchises.

“I put myself in their shoes, and if I am looking to go somewhere, that is definitely a hot spot,” Noland said, citing traffic volume from Wal-Mart and the easy access off the U.S. 23-74 bypass.

Noland closed on the two-acre parcel this month for $600,000. The total project will cost several million dollars, he said. Noland hopes to have the building completed and occupied by early summer.

Mark Clasby, the Haywood County Economic Development Director, said he is glad to see movement in the area. While Waynesville has the consumer demand to support many of the national franchises Noland is likely courting, scouts often look solely at population data, Clasby said.

“But we know there are more people than that because of tourists and the second-home market. They just don’t necessarily show up,” Clasby said. “It will take some salesmanship to convince [retailers] from a demographic standpoint that ‘You need to be here.’”

Noland has a national franchise broker working to line up leases. Noland said he was “a very small fish in a big sea,” but believes if he builds it, they will come.

Meanwhile, a second so-called “outparcel” in the Super Wal-Mart complex has also sold. A 1.8-acre tract behind Hardees sold for $550,000. The developer of the site, Donald Holland, has submitted site plans to the town for a car wash and oil change business and an additional commercial building for an unidentified tenant. The site is located along the Waynesville Commons entrance drive off South Main Street.

While Noland has not yet locked in leases, he already has the project underway with the building design. The attractive architecture will sport stacked stone and stucco with varying rooflines and pronounced eaves. It’s a good thing, since a run-of-the-mill, monotonous, low-slung strip mall wouldn’t pass muster with the town’s design standards. Noland has yet to submit his plans to the town for approval, but believes the town will like the look.

The development of the Super Wal-Mart outparcels were considered key to the appearance of South Main. Town leaders hoped attractive developments fronting South Main would visually shield the sprawling Wal-Mart parking lot set further back on the site.

Noland is a Realtor with Remax Creekside Realty. He is currently developing a 46-unit affordable townhouse development in the Clyde area. His first foray into development was in the mini-storage unit business 14 years ago. He has also built and operated three car wash and lube locations in Haywood County.

“I love developing. I really do,” Noland said. “Hopefully, the whole shopping center itself will be a one-stop shop.”

Noland has had the property under contract for 10 months. He purchased it from Cedarwood Development, a national firm that developed the complex known as Waynesville Commons and leases the site to Super Wal-Mart.

Several property owners along the corridor have had their property on the market since the coming of Super Wal-Mart, even booting out current tenants in anticipation of hot demand by national chains seeking proximity to the retail giant. So far, these property owners have failed to find takers.

Best Buy and a Verizon Wireless store are the only two major retailers that have set up shop around Wal-Mart so far.

The 12-acre site immediately beside Wal-Mart that was once slated for a Home Depot does not appear to have a taker yet. Home Depot, which had already purchased the site and even designed a building before backing out, still owns the site and is actively marketing it.

“The economy has obviously had an impact on that,” Clasby said. “It’s not an easy market, there is no question about it.”

New company part of a long local legacy

The merger of Osondu Booksellers and Blue Ridge Books and Café will eventually bring under one roof the long legacy of two beloved Waynesville institutions catering to readers and etched in the memory of the downtown community

A legacy of books

Osondu Booksellers is a direct descendant of the original Waynesville Book Co., which opened on Waynesville’s Main Street in 1870. That store fell victim to the Depression. In the 1970s, Charlie and Edie Sloan opened Sloan’s Book Shop in a building just a few doors away from where Osondu is now located. They eventually moved one block off Main Street.

Kent Stewart bought Sloan’s in 1997, and in 2002 moved it back to Main Street, renaming it The Waynesville Book Company. On a visit to Waynesville in 2003, Margaret Osondu was visiting Stewart’s store and mentioned she wanted to open a bookstore of her own. He offered to sell The Waynesville Book Company, and the deal was completed in September 2004.

Curb Market memories

While Blue Ridge Books and Café is now the town’s largest seller of magazines and newspapers, that title was held by the Open Air Curb Market from 1946 until 2004.

The store, with its old wooden floors and farm paraphernalia nailed to its walls, was a general store, newsstand, and superette combined, never switching to bar codes and scanners and still carrying Nehi sodas and boiled peanuts. But it was the voluminous daily delivery of newspapers and other periodicals that brought people in every day.

When its owner Adeline Patrick died, her daughters kept it going for a couple of years before selling the building, which became High Country Style. Three years passed before Blue Ridge Books and Café opened a storefront on Main Street and filled the void of somewhere to buy magazines and papers.

Waynesville Rec Center struck by vandals

The Waynesville Recreation Center was vandalized late sometime late Monday night or early Tuesday morning.

The vandals entered the building through a broken window into the pool area. Once inside, they broke internal windows, threw furniture around, pulled clocks off the wall and otherwise wreaked havoc.

“There was glass everywhere,” said Det. Ryan Singleton, who is the lead investigator officer in the case.

They even discharged fire extinguishers.

“The whole entire building was covered in the residue from the fire distinguishers,” Singleton said.

In the kitchen area, vandals emptied the contents of cupboards onto the floor, including food coloring, flour and vinegar. Profanity was spray-painted on the kitchen walls as well. Despite the vandalism, nothing was stolen.

The police were able to lift fingerprints from the scene. Singleton believes there was more than one vandal.

The recreation center was closed for half a day Tuesday. The pool will remained closed through Friday as glass had gotten into the pool from the broken windows.

“We are draining the pool and refilling the water. We have to get the temperature levels correct and the chlorine levels correct as well,” said Waynesville Recreation Director Rhett Langston.

The Naturalist's Corner

Slogging through the watershed

It was dark, 39 degrees and a steady light drizzle when I walked from the house to my truck last Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m. By the time I got to town, the rain had stopped, and when I arrived at the treatment plant at Waynesville’s watershed, there were five brave souls huddled in the dark under the eave of the building waiting for me.

The last email I had received from assistant town manager Alison Melnikova said that 14 people had signed up for the short birding excursion before the annual fall watershed hike. I was surprised to see that nearly half had showed up under conditions that would have had many seasoned birders turning off their alarms and rolling back under the covers.

As we were trying to figure out logistics, Alison showed up in a town 15-passenger van. We all piled in the van and drove a mile or so into the watershed. The wind was steady and the rain was intermittent. We decided to keep Alison and the van nearby in case the rain became steady.

As one might expect on a cold, windy, rainy mid-October morning, it was pretty quiet up in the watershed. We had Carolina chickadees and tufted titmice around us at just about every stop we made on our way back down to the dam. We also heard a tom turkey gobble and we saw crows, an unidentified accipiter — either a sharp-shinned or Cooper’s hawk, a yellow-bellied sapsucker and heard blue jays.

At the dam around 8:30 a.m. we found a small flock of palm warblers and some ruby-crowned kinglets. We walked out on the dam. All the reservoir yielded — other than beautiful views of the mountains through wispy tatters of fog — was a pied-billed grebe and a belted kingfisher.

The 9 o’clock hikers were arriving down at the treatment plant and since some of the birders had signed up for both hikes, we decided to walk down and join them. But when we got to the intersection of the main road down to the plant and the spur road across the dam, we ran into a flurry of activity. We found a scattered, jumbled up mixed flock of migrants. There were rose-breasted grosbeaks, Swainson’s thrush, wood thrush, blue-headed vireo, gray catbird, Tennessee warbler, palm warbler, eastern phoebe and more. Before we could sort through everything, the 9 o’clock hikers were headed up the road into the watershed.

We walked down to the plant. I thought we had a respectable morning considering conditions and time birded. We finished the morning with just over 20 species. A couple of the birders peeled off, headed for hot coffee and drier climes. The rest jumped in my truck and we headed back to join the other hikers.

While conditions were damp, hikers’ spirits weren’t dampened and most reveled in the snow we encountered at around 4,000 feet. I didn’t do a head count but estimated that there must have been around 30 hikers, a really good number considering the conditions.

Remember to keep an eye on Waynesville’s Web site for information regarding next spring’s hike.

Don Hendershot can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Photographer George Schober returns to Gallery 86 with collection of nature photography

The Haywood County Arts Council’s Gallery 86 will host the exhibit, “Natural Perspectives,” featuring the photographic work of Vietnam veteran George Schober.

The concept for Natural Perspectives, which opens Oct. 31, is based on three groups of subject matter: clouds, leaves, and botanicals. As Schober explains, “I have always viewed and interpreted the many wonders of our world from a visual perspective, photography has allowed me to express these vignettes of beauty, mystery and interest in a medium that is easily shared with others.”

Schober’s love of photography began in 1970 while stationed in Japan after a tour of duty in Vietnam as a United States Marine. He purchased his first 35mm camera and used it to explore and document this visually unique country and its peoples.

Subsequent years were devoted to education, career, and family, but photography always remained an outlet for Schober’s expression. His passion for photography was renewed in 1998 during a trip to Paris. And now Schober’s photography has progressed through film in the wet darkroom to digital images in the digital darkroom.

In addition to printing on archival paper, Schober uses the new AluminArte process; a unique, high definition imaging technology on aluminum. Unlike imaging processes that print on top of a coating applied to the paper, AluminArte embeds the image into the coated finish of the aluminum. The resulting image has a much wider range of colors that are richer and brighter than traditional professional grade prints with unrivaled depth of field. Schober’s portfolio includes images of his travels, landscapes, abstracts, candid street scenes, botanicals, and transportation images.

Natural Perspectives is the second showing for Schober in Gallery 86. In July 2005, the Arts Council opened its new visual art space with the Sawtooth Center’s traveling exhibition, A Thousand Words: Photographs by Vietnam Veterans. Schober is one of the veterans whose work was part of that exhibition.

Natural Perspectives runs through Saturday, Nov. 14. An artist’s reception will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 6 at the gallery.

For more information about the show visit the Haywood County Arts Council website at This project is supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

Downtown Waynesville prepares for a new arrival

The Waynesville Public Art Commission will celebrate the installation of “Celebrating Folkmoot,” their third commissioned public art piece, on Nov. 5. The event will begin at 6 p.m. in front of the new Waynesville Police Station.

Colossal in scale, the metal sculpture is comprised of a flowing banner-like form with seven flags that will turn with the wind. The piece will be installed at the corner of Main and East streets in the planter next to the recently constructed police station.

“One of the goals of the Waynesville Public Art Commission is to involve the community in our efforts to enrich our public spaces with art, and enthusiasm for this project is gratifying,” said commission member Marilyn Sullivan.

As with the WPAC’s inaugural art piece, “Old Time Music,” located in the heart of downtown Waynesville, at the corner of Main and Miller streets, funding for the Folkmoot project is being provided by area businesses, community and art supporters and funding from the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority.

The Waynesville Public Art Commission was established in 2006 by the Town of Waynesville and its mission is to engage the community and enrich public spaces through original art that celebrates Waynesville’s unique historic, cultural, natural and human resources.

Following the dedication ceremony, WPAC members will host a celebration reception at the Gateway Club starting at 6:30 p.m. The menu for the evening will include international fare with an optional cash bar and the music will represent the Folkmoot theme. The tickets purchased will be considered a donation to public art, and the entire amount raised will go toward the next commissioned piece for the town. Tickets for this event are $25 and are available through the Downtown Waynesville Association by calling 828.456.3517 or contact any of the following WPAC members: Kaaren Stoner, 828.627.0928; Chris Sylvester, 828.506.2597; David Blevins, 828.316.0266; Marilyn Sullivan, 828.456.8376; Mieko Thomson, 828.456.6710; Philan Medford, 828.456.3184; Mike Gillespie, 828.456.9007; Karen Kaufman, 828.452.0409; Starr Hogan, 770.878.6006.

Trapp will be the featured speaker at the reception and present “The Importance of Public Art.” Trapp has worked in stone and steel for years creating lavish outdoor pieces for corporate and private clients and municipalities. He is well known and his work represented throughout the country.

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