Town adopts game-day parking plan
The Boone Town Council welcomed a new face, okayed some new
revenue, as well as a new game-day parking plan at its Thursday
The council appointed local accountant Jamie Leigh to fill
a term left vacant by the resignation of Liz Aycock. Aycock
left after moving to a house outside of town limits. Leigh
will serve until November and also filed to run for the seat.
Leigh received a 3-11 vote approval with council member Stephen
Phillips backing Boone tourism development director Mac Forehand,
who had also applied for the seat.
Following a required public hearing, the council approved an increase to the town's occupancy tax from 3 to 6 percent.
"Most places in North Carolina already charge six," Forehand said during the public hearing, adding that the proposal will bring in $100,000 extra in this fiscal year and that Tourist contribute $190 million per year in Watauga County.
The council denied a zoning request by Charles Michael to rezone a property on Delmar Street from residential to business. Although the town planning commission had approved the request by a narrow 5-4 vote, the council voted unanimously that the move would not be "consistent with the town's Comprehensive Plan."
Appalachian State football fans will have to pay to park in some town-owned spaces on home-game days, under a plan unanimously adopted by the council.
McLaurin Parking, the town's parking management contract, presented a plan that would allocate 210 spaces in the town-hall lot and on Queen Street and charge $15 per space to defray the estimated cost of $3,150 per home-game week to pay four parking ambassadors to help direct traffic.
McLaurin owner Steve McLaurin said the plan would also allow for 40 or more spaces directly on King Street for non-game visitors to use in visiting area merchants. Council member Lynne Mason wondered if downtown merchants would not prefer to have all King Street spaces available. McLaurin said the plan could be tweak and that fans would also be directed to park at Horn in the West after 1 p.m. following the Farmers Market weekly closing.
"It's time to try this," council member Rennie Brantz said, calling it an excellent pilot program.
McLaurin told the council that the same kind of plan had been successfully used in Greenville, N.C. at Eastern Carolina University games and at N.C. State games in Raleigh. He added, that permitted town spaces for downtown workers would not be affected.
The council also approved agreements with the Downtown Boone Development Association and the Southern Appalachian Historical Association.
Under the DBDA agreement, the town will pay one-half of municipal service district taxes collected in the fiscal year (less any collection expenses) to be used to promote and develop downtown activities, festivals, business promotions and other programs as well as to act as a clearing house for information about downtown business. The current agreement will expire in December but can be renewed at that time.
A new lease negotiated with SAHA will allow the Watauga County Farmers Market to use the Horn in the West parking lot each Saturday of its operation from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. at a cost of $10,000 per year including parking spaces. SAHA may also use the parking area as long as the use doesn't interfere with the Farmers Market.
Look for more meeting coverage in future editions of The Mountain Times and the Watauga Democrat.
Boone Public Meetings
Boone Area Planning Commission
Second Monday, 7 p.m.
Board of Adjustment
First Thursday, 5:30 p.m.
Third Thursday, 6:30 p.m.
Community Appearance Commission,
Boone Housing Authority
second Tuesday,6 p.m., quarterly
Tourism Development Association
January, March, May, September
and November, 3:30 p.m.
second Wednesday, 4 p.m.
First Thursday, 9 a.m.
Watauga County Library
Fourth Tuesday, 7 p.m.
January, March, May, July, September and November