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Boone Meetings Monday Night: Water Intake, Rivers Walk, ‘Howard Street Hall’ and More

By Jesse Wood

The Boone Town Council is holding a few meetings tonight, Aug. 22.

First off, the Boone Town Council is scheduled to meet at 5 p.m. to discuss the town’s water intake project. Learn more about that meeting in this preview story here.

Then at 5:30 p.m., the Boone Town Council and Planning Commission will hold a public hearing – to hear comments from the public – on several cases that the Planning Commission will dive into later at the 6 p.m.

These are the following cases on the docket:

  • Rivers Walk Planned Development Zoning Map Amendment
  • Parking Structures – UDO Text Amendment
  • Welsh Conditional District Zoning Map Amendment
  • App State University General Use Zoning Map Amendment
  • Theatre Marquee

Rivers Walk

Rivers Walk is a proposed development slated for the old Southern States property at the intersection of Water Street and Poplar Grove Road in downtown Boone. The development is proposed to feature 380 beds in 151 units and a 199-vehicle parking deck.

Jeff Githens with McKinley Boone, LLC filed for a zoning map amendment petition for the mixed-use proposal with the Boone Planning & Inspections. During a town meeting in June, Githens stated that the project has a budget in the ballpark of $35 million.

Parking Structures UDO Text Amendment

Alan Crees with Municipal Engineering Services filed an application for a UDO – Unified Development Ordinance – text amendment related to parking structures in June. According to the application, “App South” paid the application fee.

In a letter to Boone Planning and Inspections Director Bill Bailey, Crees wrote: “We have been investigating the feasibility of developing parking structures in the B3 (General Business) and OI (Office and Institutional) zoning districts. We have found that it is not feasible to construct parking structures in these zoning districts because they are considered ‘buildings’ and have to meet floor area and open space intensity ratios that are applied to conventionally occupied buildings.”

The proposed text amendment would permit parking structures to be “feasibly constructed in the B3 and OI zoning districts” and would include parking structures to be permitted under the town’s new planned development process.

Welsh’s Art Studio

David Welsh, a former realtor with Coldwell, Blair, Banker and Associates and an entrepreneur behind the soon-to-be-in-Boone Tank’s Taco y Tequila at the site of the old Parthenon Café near the App State campus, is looking to transform a college rental into an art studio.

The property in question is located at 342 Old Bristol Road in Boone, and the project is titled, “The Blue House,” on the application form.

App State’s “Howard Street Hall”

Appalachian State University has filed an application with the Boone Planning and Inspections office for a general use zoning map amendment for property located at 663 Howard Street. The project is titled “Howard Street Hall.”

App State is seeking to rezone the property from R3 multiple-family residential to U1 University.

A description of the project states: “Renovation of 1st and 2nd floors, conversion of sanctuary into two classrooms and renovation [unclear] of existing offices and classrooms into faculty offices. Addition of elevator will be required.”

App State purchased the former First Presbyterian Church in 2008.

Town of Boone Theatre Marquee
The Town of Boone is also filing for a UDO text amendment for the Appalachian Theatre project. The text amendment pertains to the projecting theatre marquee and lighting.

Proposed changes include allowing “use of flashing, scrolling or intermittent lights” during the time the theatre is open to the public and prohibited from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

See more information on all of the following cases here.

The Planning Commission will hear the cases, review information and vote on a recommendation to forward to the Boone Town Council.