Last updated: January 24. 2014 1:42PM - 1156 Views
Wil Petty Staff Writer jpetty@civitasmedia.com

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The Ashe County Planning Board continued its discussion of creating additional scenic byways and byways within the county.

Designated byways have prohibitions on billboard use within the routes and come with the promotion of the selected roads by the state.

Planning Director Adam Stumb began the discussion by clarifying the difference between a scenic byway and scenic corridor.

“The scenic byways is a term the state uses and we have (one) of those currently,” Stumb said.

Right now, the only byway in Ashe County goes from N.C. 194 in Watauga County to U.S. 221 near Baldwin. The road continues outside of Jefferson on N.C. 88 onto Alleghany County.

Other proposals in Ashe include a route from U.S. 221 at the Ashe and Watauga County border to N.C. 163 in West Jefferson, and a route from the town of Lansing to the Virginia border along N.C. 194.

Stumb said the intention of the Lansing route proposal, named “Virginia Creeper Scenic By-way,” would be to connect to The Crooked Road (U.S. 58) in Grayson County, Va.

“Sometimes, counties and states will use (the byways) as a cultural recognition,” Stumb said.

Board member Arvil Scott asked if the primary effect of scenic byways was the limitation of billboards along the routes or if there were other purposes.

“With the state designation, you get extra advertising that comes with (the route),” Stumb said.

Scott then asked if the byways were limited to N.C. and U.S. highways, to which Stumb responded no. Stumb said there would be signage on the routes added by the state.

Stumb said he might try to implement the by-way conversation with the county’s land use plan.

“People may have ideas on new corridors,” he said.

The discussion stemmed from the Planning Board’s Dec. 19 meeting, where Chairman Gene Hafer said he believed now was a good time to look into area roads receiving the designation.

“As we get on this topic and stay on it, what we need to look at is what we can do as Ashe County’s (planning board),” Hafer said.

Hafer suggested the board look into state laws over extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) regarding municipalities to see who had the authority over implementing billboards.

Scott said he also wanted to know how implementing the byways would affect trash pick up and resident’s property restrictions along the routes.

Wil Petty may be reached at 336-846-7164 or on Twitter @wilpetty

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