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SAHA Request for Kiwanis Club’s Horn in the West Concerts Tabled Until Thursday Due to Zoning Issues

By Rebecca Gitlen

May 16, 2012. The Southern Appalachian Historic Association (SAHA) requested permission to allow the Kiwanis Club of Watauga County to hold Monday evening concerts from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., free to the community, during the 2012 summer season at Horn in the West June 18 through Sept. 1. Kiwanis was to use the paved area above the amphitheater for band set-up and patrons would use grassy areas for seating.

Boone Town Council tabled discussion of SAHA’s request until Thursday night’s meeting so council members could gather more information.

Boone’s town planner, Bill Bailey, brought up the zoning issue of having neighborhoods and a funeral home so close to the concerts, said Michelle Ligon, chairwoman of SAHA.

“I think they think we’re planning to use the amphitheater,” said Ligon. “We didn’t get much opportunity to clarify. The concerts would be above the amphitheater – more like the Concerts on the Lawn at the Jones House. A comparison came up with the town manager to Widespread Panic concerts at the amphitheater in the 90s. I don’t think Kiwanis is planning to do anything of that magnitude.”

Kiwanis would host a raffle or other fundraising events at the concert to benefit the organization, the musicians and local charities. Other civic groups, like the Kiwanis Club of Avery County, generates $1,700 on any given night when they host these types of concerts, said Ligon.

In 1998, some of the zoning was changed for the Farmers’ Market to continue at Horn in the West.

“The town attorney is looking into the zoning issue Mr. Bailey brought up,” said Ligon. “Like in the case of the Farmers’ Market in 1998, they can maybe change the zoning if it’s legally possible.”