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Originally published: 2014-01-13 12:35:27
Last modified: 2014-01-13 12:36:13

Cultural board endorses Daniel Boone Park plan

by Anna Oakes

The Boone Cultural Resources Advisory Board voted last week to endorse the Marquis Halback plan for redevelopment of Daniel Boone Park -- home of the "Horn in the West" amphitheater.

Consultant Marquis Halback worked with a local steering committee in 2011 and 2012 to develop a concept plan for redevelopment of Daniel Boone Park. The plan includes three concept maps with varying configurations of Horn in the West Drive, a farmers' market shelter, parking, expanded garden areas and pedestrian facilities.

The Boone Town Council endorsed the concept of the plan in spring 2012, but directed that any further planning occur in conjunction with the new Cultural Resources Board, which first met in August 2012.

Cultural Resources Board members voted last year to support the redevelopment of the Daniel Boone Park, but stopped short of endorsing the Marquis Halback Plan, with some members expressing concerns that the public might think the concepts presented in the plan would be the final plan to be pursued.

But Boone Planning Director Bill Bailey assured the board in December that it is common for long-range plans to be regularly evaluated and amended.

The board on Jan. 6 passed a motion recommending "the approval of the plan with the understanding that each part of the project will be subject to revision in light of logistical, economic and other factors."

The board recommended that the park's amphitheater be the first priority in the approved redevelopment plan. 

Also discussed at the Jan. 6 meeting was the town council's action in December to delay the planned demolition of stage structures at the Daniel Boone Park amphitheater to allow the Southern Appalachian Historical Association to present a plan to repair the structures.

SAHA is the nonprofit organization that produces the outdoor drama "Horn in the West."

The council had voted in November to allocate up to $20,000 for the demolition and disposal of structures deemed to be unsafe by a town building inspector, including the stage left wall, back wall and PIT building. But SAHA leaders asked the town to delay the demolition, stating that a structural engineer would prepare plans to repair the structures for approximately the same amount of money allocated for demolition.

Michelle Ligon, chairwoman of SAHA, said on Friday that a structural engineer visited the property about two weeks ago and that SAHA is awaiting his report.