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With Boone Creek Bisecting Old Southern States Property, Developer Requests Variance To Section of UDO

The downtown Boone location closed by July 25, 2013. Photo by Ken Ketchie
The downtown Boone location closed by July 25, 2013. Photo by Ken Ketchie

By Jesse Wood

Dec. 3, 2013. The Boone Board of Adjustment will hear a variance request to a section of the town’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) regarding the old Southern States property located at the corner of Poplar Grove Road and Water Street in downtown Boone at its Thursday, Dec. 5 meeting that begins at 5:30 p.m. in the town council chambers.

Harrod Construction/AP LLC has a contract to purchase the parcel and plans to build a mixed-use development on the one-acre lot, according to a letter from Alan Crees, an engineer with Municipal Engineering Services hired by Harrod Construction, to Jane Shook, a planner with the Town of Boone Planning and Inspections department. 

A conceptual plan of the building proposed by Harrod Construction.
A conceptual building footprint proposed by Harrod Construction.

“Boone Creek runs through the property and bisects it at Water Street. Although the creek is a potential amenity to the project, the environmental factors associated with it present a hardship to the re-development of the property,” Crees wrote, adding that those factors include existence of a mapped floodway, creek setbacks and a large concrete culvert.

“The factors restrict development of a building on the property. In addition, the creek bisects the property at Water Street leaving a small remnant of property that is impractical to construct a building on due to its size and geometry,” Crees continued.

In the letter, Crees said that Section 179 in the UDO requires a minimum building footprint that is 50 percent of the total gross area of the lot zoned Central Business District.

“It is impractical if not impossible to construct a building that meets this criteria on this property due to the creek and its associated environmental factors. Therefore we are requesting a variance to … decrease the minimum building footprint required to 40 percent of the gross land area,” Crees wrote.

The letter concludes that the hardship is not the result of actions by the applicant or property owner and that the granting of the variance “would protect the creek by allowing a smaller building footprint.”

In July, Southern States announced that it was closing numerous stores and the downtown Boone location would be one of them. It closed on July 25. 

At Thursday’s meeting, the Board of Adjustment will also hear from a representative of Zaxby’s regarding a proposed restaurant on N.C. 105 Extension and a sign variance from Ross Chrysler.