Montreat Stewards

The Montreat Conference Center (MRA) is planning to build a 40 room hotel with meeting rooms and an underground parking garage on Assembly Drive in the center of Montreat, directly across from Robert Lake Park. We are strongly opposed.

Update on the hearing so far:

In the first five sessions of the hearing (Oct. 21, 28, Nov. 4, Dec. 13 & 15) the MRA has presented six experts, two from their architecture firm who spoke about the design and construction of the proposed hotel, and four others who spoke about engineering, traffic, city planning and property values respectively. Attorneys representing neighbors performed in-depth cross-examinations of each witness, highlighting issues with the reliability of their methods and potential harms to the surrounding area. The other parties have begun presenting their cases, calling a structural engineer and a stormwater expert. Cross examination of the second expert will begin at the next session of the hearing on January 4. The hearing is expected to continue at additional sessions later the same week.

In-person attendance is important, but if that is not possible:

Zoom link for the BOA Hearing on Thursday, January 6

What to Expect at the Permit Hearing:

  • The Board of Adjustment hearing is a quasi-judicial process. The Board's job will be to decide whether the MRA’s proposal meets the legal requirements for a Special Use Permit.

  • The Zoning Ordinance lays out six criteria, centering around public well-being, effect on neighbors, and conformity with the policies of the Town. Unless all these criteria are met, the proposed hotel cannot be built.

  • Certain people who could suffer special damages from the hotel have been granted standing, which allows them to act as a party in the case.

  • The MRA and anyone with standing will have the chance to present evidence and call witnesses to show whether or not the MRA meets the requirements for a permit.

  • Afterward, the Board might also allow relevant testimony from other members of the public — this is entirely at their discretion.

  • The hearing will take several sessions to complete.

  • When all the evidence has been presented, the Board will deliberate in public and vote in public on whether to approve or deny the permit application.

  • For more information on the process and criteria the Board will be using, see our page on the Special Use Permit Hearing. This page includes the link to the previous Board hearing as well as the Zoom link for the upcoming hearing.

Petition Results as of 12/30/21




Montreat homes opposed

Current view: Galax House on Assembly Drive

Proposed Hotel from Assembly Drive

Proposed Hotel from Georgia Terrace

Neighbors are concerned this hotel project would:

  • Irrevocably change the look and feel of the center of Montreat with the scale of the project

  • Increase traffic substantially in an already congested location

  • Diminish a historic neighborhood and destroy two of the oldest buildings in Montreat

  • Threaten the natural environment

The Conference Center never reached out to inform or consult with neighbors about the project. However in mid February, 2021, immediate neighbors of the project indirectly learned of the plans. We have since met several times with the Conference Center, raising our concerns and proposing alternative plans for development of the area, but they have refused to change course. In July the MRA applied for a Special Use Permit, without which they cannot build the hotel.

We continue to strongly believe that the scale of the project is far out of proportion to the space, and to the style and needs of Montreat, and that it in fact contradicts the Town mission: "To seek ways to maintain and improve the quality of life, preserve the natural beauty and promote responsible growth while maintaining our community image, heritage and traditions."

On this website you can find information on

If you want to join an email list to stay updated on the hotel project, please contact us.

The mission of the Town of Montreat:

To seek ways to maintain and improve the quality of life, preserve the natural beauty and promote responsible growth while maintaining our community image, heritage and traditions.

Montreat Stewards is a group of Montreat residents and friends dedicated to preserving and protecting the beauty, history and peace of Montreat, North Carolina.