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After Board of Adjustment Denies Variances, Developer To ‘Redesign’ Project at Old Southern States Location

An artistic rendering of "Rivers Walk," a proposed development on the old Southern States property.
An artistic rendering of “Rivers Walk,” a proposed development on the old Southern States property.

By Jesse Wood

Sept. 8, 2014. After the Boone Board of Adjustment denied requested variances for a mixed-use project on the old Southern States property in downtown Boone, the developer of “Rivers Walk” plans to back up and punt and come before the Boone Board of Adjustment “as soon as possible, according to John Weaver, who represented developer Harrod/ AP LLC.

Weaver requested four variances for parcels that include 178 South Water St., 190 Poplar Grove Rd. and 208 Poplar Grove Road.

In December, the Boone Board of Adjustment granted a variance to allow reductions to the building footprint requirements because of Boone Creek bisecting the property. However, that case only regarded the 178 South Water St. property.

The developer sought these four variances:

  • to decrease the minimum building footprint from 50 to 40 percent
  • to exceed the maximum building height of 40 foot in the central business district for an additional two to four feet for parapet wall around entire building adn additional 15 feet for elevator shaft.
  • to exceed the 35-foot building height for all structures within 100 feet of residentially zoned areas.
  • to allow permanent encroachments in the 25 foot buffer zone

Brenda Henson, an administrative support specialist with the Boone Planning and Inspections department said that Harrod was only granted one variance – the one to decrease the minimum building footprint from 50 to 40 percent.

Speaking on Monday, Weaver said, “We didn’t do a good job presenting to the Boone Board of Adjustment. We will redesign the project and reduce the height of the building.”

Weaver noted that the mixed-use project is “appropriate” for the current B-1 zoning of the property.

Weaver said that he wants to meet with the town’s Historic Preservation Commission to try and incorporate “their desires to the extent possible” regarding the mixed-use project that would consist of apartments and retail space – possibly a franchise gym, restaurant, a postal business and shops.

Weaver said that the project would provide “some of the best housing for young professionals that the city will have” and that it would provide more than 200 construction jobs during a year-long construction process – in addition to the permanent jobs on site thereafter.

“It’s been a pleasure working with Boone,” Weaver said. “And our partners have a long association with Boone, and we just look forward to continuing that.”