Power Lines N.C. 107

The NCDOT examined the option of putting utility lines underground as part of coming roadwork on Sylva’s business corridor, but decided it was prohibitively expensive.

By Dave Russell

 

The plans for R-5600, the N.C. Department of Transportation’s reconfiguration of Sylva’s commercial corridor have changed. Five additional buildings, from Bogart’s to the brick building that formerly housed Ensley Electric at 88 Asheville Highway, are slated for removal, with eight businesses to relocate.

R-5600 would reshape N.C. 107, including the elimination of the center turn lane with sidewalks replaced and a 5-foot bike lane. Upgrades are slated for the N.C. 107/U.S. 23 Business intersection, and from U.S. 23 Business to Dillardtown Road and Municipal Drive, near the Sylva Fire Department.

Facing relocation are Bogart’s, Smoky Mountain Foot & Ankle Clinic, Liberty Tax Service, Imperial Security, Community Alternatives of North Carolina, Before Hair Studio, Carolina Custom Tattoo and Piercing, and The Love Nest Adult Boutique.

“As design has progressed, and as review of project impacts has also progressed, it has been determined the mentioned businesses will be significantly impacted by the roadway project, thus, these locations will require relocation,” Senior Project Engineer Jeanette White said. 

The removals are recent developments, she said.

“These relocations have been identified since the publication of the 75 percent Right-of-Way plans in July 2021,” White said.

Dunkin, the popular donut shop that often has a line of cars extending to and into N.C. 107, is in for changes as well. 

“I’ve heard of some discussions regarding ‘repositioning’ of Dunkin,” White said. “Yet these are just rumors; nothing concrete. However, the Dunkin structure will require relocation either on the same parcel or elsewhere, to be determined by the owners.”

White is willing to talk to anyone at anytime about R-5600, she said. She can be reached at jlwhite5@ncdot.gov or 586 2141.

 

Bad timing

The change comes at a bad time for Imperial Security and Wiring at 42 Asheville Highway, Suite A.

The company, owned by husband and wife team Mark and Angela Zoran, installs high-end full home automation, ranging from alarm systems to voice controlled devices to perform tasks such as lowering the blinds.

The Zorans signed a three-year lease and moved into the property, owned by Kole Clapsaddle, in April, Mark Zoran said 

“We rented there because we were assured by the landlord that only a small portion of the parking lot was going to be taken because that was all he was made aware of,” he said. “It would be a far cry for me to believe that Kole knew (about the removal) and that he just signed a three-year lease with us. He seemed to be in as much shock as we were.”

The couple has spent four months and almost $40,000 to renovate the suite, he said.

“We have been informed we need to come up with a breakdown of our relocation fees that the state will pay, but they are not paying for the improvements that we just did,” Mark Zoran said.

“Sylva has been home for us for almost 14 years,” he said. “It is what it is. I’m not trying to say progress isn’t a good thing, I think Sylva could be laid out better and there are some things that could help traffic flow, but logical progress makes more sense.”

No definite date is set for the Zorans to vacate the building, Angela Zoran said.

Right of way agents from Telics are tasked with informing the Zorans of their rights and helping them with filling documents, she said.

Two Telics representatives met with Angela Zoran.

“In talking to the woman from Telics, whatever we spent on this building is between us and the landlord,” she said. “She was very nice and just being honest about how the state handles it because it is taxpayer dollars.”

The state would help with moving and costs incurred while looking for a new location, up to a point, she said.

Clapsaddle has been accommodating, she said.

“He has been trying to make sure he has other properties available for his tenants,” she said. “But we may be moving out of town.”