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Special Public Hearing Scheduled for Oct. 16 to Discuss Changes to Building Height Limitations

By Paul T. Choate

Sept. 24, 2012. One of the most frequent concerns for members of the Boone Town Council is how tall buildings should be permitted to be in the downtown business district.

Last Thursday, Sept. 20, the council voted to schedule a special public hearing for Tuesday, Oct. 16, to discuss changes to the town’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). The changes proposed would limit primary building heights to 40 feet in the downtown zoning district.

Currently, building height regulations for the B-1 Central Business district are set at 44 feet as a primary height maximum and 67 feet as a secondary height maximum.

The town also proposed eliminating secondary height limitations from the UDO and using only primary height measurements.

Councilwoman Jamie Leigh initially introduced the motion for the special public hearing on proposed changes to the UDO, saying she wanted a height limitation of 38 feet.

Councilman Andy Ball attempted to introduce a friendly amendment, saying he believed height limitations should be set at 40 feet. Leigh, however, was not in agreement.

“I’m not feeling friendly right now,” said Leigh in response to Ball’s requested amendment.  

The council ultimately voted Leigh’s motion down 3-1, with only Leigh herself voting to approve it.

“I’ll blame all of you when something goes up,” said Leigh, drawing a few laughs from those in attendance.

Ball then introduced the same motion at 40 feet. The motion was seconded and approved 3-1, with only Leigh voting against it.

The special public hearing will be held on Oct. 16 at 5 p.m. at the Council Chambers, located at 1500 Blowing Rock Road, Boone.