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Blue Ridge Parkway Property

Thank you for considering our developments.  We thought you might like to know why we do the things we do in shaping the developments on the ground and through the legal process. 


These are quaint and serene developments much like a Christmas card with single-lane paved roads winding through the woods, through extraordinary views, and by creeks and waterfalls.  We’re about 25 years behind the times and willing to fight anyone who wants us to catch up. 


We try to create wilderness type communities that are much like the areas you grew up in years ago.  We are at about 3,000 feet of elevation and, therefore, have cool breezes most of the time.  Screens on the windows prevail with air conditioning being necessary very little.  Exercise machines are not necessary.  It is commonplace to see neighbors walking the roads and hills for exercise in the cool air. 


Wildlife includes deer, rabbits, squirrels, black bear, bobcats, and wild turkey. 

In our elevations, many times, you will be seeing hawks soaring below you. 


Property prices have steadily risen since we started in 1999.  Our equity increases for customers has been very favorable.  Most big view lots that were sold for $31,500 in 2002 will now bring $65,000-$85,000. The amount of surround view land left to be developed in other areas of Fancy Gap is very small.  Further out the Parkway from us, in both directions, the view areas are about used up.  Those areas are generally steeper and rockier than our area.  The county and the state recently changed developmental codes to where most developing in these extreme view areas along the Parkway will not be feasible.  The cost of development under the new codes will at least triple.  This tripling effect will slow new developments and send our equity increases higher than ever before.  We were fortunate to be able to cut out, survey and finalize, pass through the Planning Board, and record over 150 new tracts before the law changed. 


Most developers didn’t think the new law would be so severe and did not cut their remaining land.  Therefore, as demand increases, supply will be very short.  Our prices will, therefore, remain reasonable with increases through attrition. 



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[vc_column_text]I am not a Realtor but I am a Land Developer.  We buy farms and large tracts of land and put those together to form these small communities.  We then cut that area into smaller land tracts for mainly vacation folks and for retired folks.  We operate in Carroll County which does not have zoning and is, therefore, not restricted.  Our developments are restricted regardless of the size of the tract.  The restrictions along with the size of our area, in this case, some 600 acres gives our customers an assurance of a nice neighborhood where everything around you is new.  If you need to sell at some point, those are the areas that sell first in most cases. In most cases our views will exceed the pull-offs on the Parkway.  We have better than 300 acres, that on a clear day with the naked eye, you will pick out every skyscraper in Winston-Salem which is 50 miles away.  These are private roads but not gated and lend themselves well to ATV’s, such as; golf carts, Gators, Kawasaki Mules, etc.  We do not allow 2-wheel dirt bikes, because we feel it would lead to the “2-stroke” bikes which sound like a mad bumblebee. 


This is a quiet and serene place. 


We are restricted against 4-wheelers and ATV’s but we all have them.  The reason for this is that if someone is creating problems with noise or showing off and if we are restricted against those, we can do something about it.  We may all have to hide ours for a while and then bring them back out little by little, but we can do something about it.  If we were not restricted against them, we couldn’t do anything about someone creating a nuisance.  There are miles of trails to hike or to ride 4-wheelers. 


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Blue Ridge Parkway Property 

We develop in phases.  We start selling in first phase while we are building roads, ponds, etc. in second phase. Therefore, we reserve right-of-ways out in front of us for roads for the next coming phases in several areas, since many times roads may have to be rerouted from where we thought.  Grading roads can sometimes lead to massive rock and rerouting.  Any areas not used after the road is finished are seeded in and left for hiking trails.  We own heavy equipment to deal with most any situation in road building but economics still prevail. 


We have a pond in the Reflections Development that is stocked with trout, blue gill, hybrid blue gill, and bass. We have another pond in the Little Waterfalls Development that is stocked the same way and fed by a waterfall 

One pond has a helicopter pad adjacent to the dam to be used by Baptist  Hospital.  As we all are aging, the need for quick transportation  to the hospital can sometimes be important. We are building the helicopter pad now and it will be a part of the mapping and GPS coordinates with the hospital that is only 21 minutes away by helicopter. You will still dial 911. 


We have a picnic shelter with a 40-foot long picnic table on one of the most expensive lots in the development.  This shelter has served  well for property owner’s meetings, singings, weddings, and gatherings of all types. 


Actually, we are putting in 5 developments.  But, it’s almost like one big development with subsections.  You don’t know when you go out of one development into another, because we are trying to build wilderness type communities, not country clubs. 

flies, we are located only 1 mile from the crossing of Highway 52 and the Blue Ridge Parkway.  By road we are about 2 miles off of the Parkway.  “School bus roads” come to us and private roads take over at our entrance.  We use the term “school bus roads” because those are the roads that get scraped first when snow comes.  In the snow you can usually get to our entranceway the first morning after the snow, but sometimes it may be a day or two before the roads are scraped in the development.  When the roads cannot be scraped in the development, most of our people park their cars at the entranceway and use their ATV from the cabin to the car.  The delay time for being able to scrape snow in some areas is normally because of those areas that are “north side of the bushes”, meaning shady and icy. 


Normally, when the snows come, many of our people gather for campfires beside snow sledding. 

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We use single-lane roads for two main reasons:  Naturally, single-lane roads are cheaper to build than dual-lane roads, therefore, help to keep land tract prices down.  Single-lane paved roads are averaging in these rocky areas about $100,000 per mile while dual-lane roads in the same areas are averaging near $300,000 per mile.  Our family has developed on the Blue Ridge Parkway for some 40 years.  If the past has taught us anything, it has taught us that single-lane roads dead-ending, scares thieves and deters break-ins.  These are vacation properties mainly and the thieves know you are not likely to be there.  Single-lane roads scare the thieves, because if one car pulls in behind the thief, he has no outlet to go to.  We have learned over the years that the single-lane roads take away about 80% of the theft, and the other 20%, we thought we would just shoot them.  So bring your pistol. 

We have lots and tracts that are fairly level and we have many that are steep. Most people come to the mountain looking for a flat place but in reality would be better off with a steep tract.  If you will look at the main reasons you come to the mountain, in most cases, it will be to lie on the couch, look at the views, take it easy, and to clean out your mind.  If you buy a flat lot, many times, you will work yourself to death trying to keep  the entire lot in perfect condition.  If you buy a steep lot, you will build a foundation or a basement a short  distance from the road to bring the floor elevation of the house back to the road level. You will fill in, with fill dirt, between the house and the road enough for a driveway and very little grass.  Then the steep areas on the view side of the house will grow back natural and you look over the top of those, without having to keep them up.  That accomplishes an area of yard to keep up, that can usually be done in a few minutes instead of a half a day, which gives you more couch time.

Our restrictions are the main value builder for your property.  Since Carroll County is unzoned and unrestricted anyone can build most anything they want anywhere in the county.  The way our boundaries are laid out it would be very difficult for anyone to build something unsightly anywhere near your house.  Our restrictions are only those things that keep these property values up.  Some of the main things are naturally; no mobile homes, no unsightly outbuildings, no unlicensed vehicles, etc.  Restrictions are recorded with the Register of Deeds and/or written into your Deed. 


We do have a Property Owners Association even though it has not been used yet.  Property owner’s dues are $125 a year plus a cost-of-living index increase that is cumulative every 24 months and starting in the year of 2000.  This Property Owners Association is simplified.  It is similar to dedicating a graveyard to a church.  Most Property Owners Associations are pretty much a corporation with reporting requirements.  This Association is for the express purpose of road maintenance and common ground areas.  It is a part of the restrictions recorded with the county and a part of the Deed for every person who we have sold land to in Reflections, Old Dan Tate Place, Spring Valley, and Crystal Springs.  Since all of our roads are pavement, maintenance will be very low. 


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[vc_column_text]The dues are for repairing asphalt, any other road repairs necessary, bushhogging shoulders of roads, and maintaining ponds, covered bridge, and any other common ground areas.  These dues are not meant for lawnmower mowing of shoulders and common ground areas or manicuring like in a country club.  Some of the people have gone together and contributed money to another fund for mowing shoulders and slopes much like a country club.  These developments were named farms purposely to project an upkeep much like a farm which means bushhogging, not manicuring like a country club.  If the people want to use a separate contribution fund for manicuring, it is fine to do so, but the contribution fund is not legally binding.  The dues established by the restrictions are legally binding upon each property owner in Reflections, Old Dan Tate Place, Spring Valley, and Crystal  Springs.  To date, we have not started charging dues as my partner and myself have paid for and performed the maintenance on all roads and common areas.  The contribution fund that some of the people have established seems to be working well and, in my opinion, should be continued since the amount of money each person has been contributing is minimal.  Most developments where shoulders and slopes are kept up like a country club causes dues for property owners to be a couple of thousand dollars per year, where our dues will be less than a couple of  hundred dollars a year.  It is past time for us to set up the process for the Property Owners Association, and we will most likely begin this season. 


We are not the developers for Little Water Falls Development.  However, we bought most of the Little Water Falls lots and bought all of Little Water Falls undeveloped residue tracts.  When we started buying people out, we bought some 187 lots and about 200 acres.  Since we are not the original developer, we cannot set up a Property Owners Association for Little Water Falls without every property owner’s signature.  We are not willing to do that.  Therefore, we put increased restrictions into each person’s Deed as we sold land in Little Water Falls, along with the requirement that each person buying in Little Water Falls will pay their share of road maintenance, along with those people who bought from us “the grantors”.  It is my opinion that Little Water Falls will never have a legally binding Property Owners  Association.  Some of the people in Little Water Falls have been putting money into this contribution fund which is in their best interest.  However, it does not count toward that person’s share of road maintenance repairs when the repairs are done and billed to that person.  My partner and myself have been paying for and performing road maintenance in those areas where we have land, in Little Water Falls since the beginning, which will change shortly.  Road repairs should be minimal since we paved most of the roads. 

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[vc_column_text]The development looked the best ever, this season.  Trees and bushes are maturing and coming back from past construction.  Shoulders and slopes were being mowed closer and further back than in the past by the contribution fund.  Grass is now covering about all of the construction areas.  Snow was pushed by the contribution fund with neighbors helping neighbors back and forth to the entranceway on ATV’s during ice, which helps to bring everyone closer together.  Property owners were more involved.  So, it appears that the contribution fund is working well without excess expense to property owners.  No major road repairs have been necessary, thus far,  excepting Little Water Falls.  Understanding that we have very little traffic excepting house construction,major road repairs should be minimal. 

These developments contain the majority of those things our families learned over 40 years that our customers wanted and needed for prime investments in vacation and retirement property.  From the beginning we have tried every way that we knew to build these developments to be something significant.  Many developments for vacation property are surveyed, a road roughed-in, and sold out, without any consideration for the customer’s well being in the future.  We give deep consideration to every detail, such as; paved roads that would last, asphalt instead of gravel, telephone right-of-ways, power line right-of-ways, shared wells as an alternative, and many other things that make a property owner’s land value increase dramatically for 50 years or more.  Our developments now have some 50 houses or so.  Fifty or more houses could not have been built and used by now in these secluded areas, unless these developments were planned out in significant detail from the beginning.  Getting construction trucks in and out alone, is a major accomplishment in these quaint areas. 


We feel that when you evaluate all developments on the Blue Ridge, ours will stand out.  Again, we thank you for considering our developments and look forward to having you as a neighbor. 


Kindest regards,
Steve Cook 

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