By Jesse Wood
Sept. 29, 2014. A hotel is slated to be built in between U.S. 421 and Old East King Street.
Watauga Hospitality Associates LLC, the property owner, will appear before the Boone Board of Adjustment on Thursday, Oct. 2 at 5:30 p.m. to request a variance pertaining to the height of a retaining wall on the property for a proposed Hampton Inn and Suites.
Heading away from downtown Boone towards Bamboo Road on U.S. 421, the parcel is located just beyond the second WilcoHess gas station, and from the highway one can see the apartment complex that is located near the entrance of Watauga High School on Old East King Street.
According to Boone’s Unified Development Ordinance, retaining walls are not to exceed eight feet in height. Watauga Hospitality Associates is requesting to build an 11-foot-tall retaining wall.
According to a memo from town staff that is included in the meeting packet, the N.C. Department of Transportation “is concerned about the placement of a retaining wall within the right of way, if no sidewalk section is installed.”
“The retaining wall would be unnecessary if the Town chooses not [to] pursue sidewalk along this section. If the Department were to approve the retaining wall, we would like some assurance from the Town of Boone that a sidewalk would be constructed in this area. If the Town does not plan for a sidewalk on this section of property, the Department would recommend not permitting the developer to install the retaining wall. In that situation, it would be better to install a standard fill section in lieu of a retaining wall.”
Highway frontage along U.S. 421 in Eastern Watauga has been ripe for development recently.
Adjacent to the parcel of the proposed hotel development, a Bojangles opened across the street months ago. In July, Modern Automotive broke ground on 12 acres for two new dealership facilities for Modern Toyota and Modern Subaru just up the road. Also, directly across from the street of the proposed Hampton Inn is the construction of a car wash.