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Originally published: 2013-05-07 20:52:36
Last modified: 2013-05-08 11:40:30

Boone wraps up UDO workshops

by Anna Oakes

The Boone Planning & Inspections Department held the last of three public workshops on a new Unified Development Ordinance Tuesday, but the town's work to adopt the document is far from over.

Planning & Inspections Director Bill Bailey and Town Planner Jane Shook outlined the final third portion of the draft UDO document, including requirements on grading, soil erosion and sediment control, stormwater management, utilities, streets and sidewalks, parking, community development appearance standards, signs, watershed protection, flood damage prevention and landscape standards, as well as a section for definitions and appendices on application requirements and landscaping.

"We just did formatting and eliminating the redundancies in here. There's not a lot of changes to the technical side of this," Bailey said, adding that more substantive changes to each article could be considered by the town council in the future.

The Planning & Inspections Department, Boone Town Council, Boone Area Planning Commission and town attorney have worked on revisions to the UDO since October 2010.

Perhaps the most significant change to the UDO is the overhaul of its Table of Permissible Uses, a table that lists all the property uses permitted in the town's jurisdiction and the zoning districts in which they are permitted.

Planning staff members have indicated that they hope to increase the number of uses that are permitted by right and decrease the number of uses that require a special use permit, which requires a public hearing and board of adjustment approval. Staff members have also added many new types of uses to the table -- such as breweries, moped sales and community gardens -- and have suggested changes to some existing uses in zoning districts, as well.

Bailey said there are a number of bills being considered by the General Assembly that could affect the new UDO.

"Because they're changing so much, I hesitate to make changes right now," he said. "In July, we should be able to sit down and say, 'Here are the laws, here are the changes that we made.'"

The next step in the UDO revision process is a joint meeting between the Boone Town Council and planning commission at 6 p.m. Monday, July 8. The council will hold a public hearing on the new UDO before adopting it.