Letter: Watauga planning officials show no common sense

Aug. 19, 2013 @ 09:03 AM

To the editor:

After reading Sunday the Associate Press story “Reality TV meets real world ‘Mountain Man’ style,” it makes you question about common-sense laws and regulation.

Eustace Conway should be admired for his attempt to live a simple life. In Watauga County consultant W.O. Whaley’s report finding that many of the buildings on Conway’s property were “not structurally sound,” Whaley also wrote that the property “presents a hazard to the safety of anyone near any of the structures.”

This is the same county inspectors and planning director who allowed three people to die of carbon monoxide poisoning in a hotel in Boone.

The hotel is less than a mile from where the building inspector, zoning code and all the people who are “paper pushers” and hug-a-tree people work. Daily.

Did Gen. William Lenoir have a building permit when he built Fort Defiance? In 1841, when the City of Lenoir was chartered how many building permits were issued? Did Daniel Boone have any building permits? The town of Boone was named after him.

It seemed like our forefathers did all right to get us where we are today.

I believe in regulations and zoning. I also believe some common-sense judgment should be used. So far no one has died of carbon monoxide at Conway’s Turtle Island.

Is the action of Watauga Planning Director Joe Furman a way of taking attention away from the fact three people died under the local planning net?

I think there should be charges against anyone from the city or county who allowed the three deaths to happen.

Johnny M. Turner