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Originally published: 2013-10-21 11:19:59
Last modified: 2013-10-21 11:20:44

Shadowline project granted water

by Anna Oakes

A Florida developer's plan to build a 190-unit apartment and retail project at the site of the old Shadowline plant in Boone moved forward Thursday with the approval of a 69,464-gallons-per-day water allocation from the Boone Town Council.

The project at 241 Shadowline Drive would include 457 bedroooms, a 700-square-foot swimming pool, a clubhouse and gym and 10,700 square feet of commercial retail space, according to the application from Cornerstone Campus Communities of Coral Gables, Fla.

Meredith Trattler, president of Cornerstone Campus Communities, originally appeared before the council in September to request water for a development at the site but was turned down. Trattler said the development would be workforce housing and that about have of the units would target high-income renters, according to meeting minutes.

At that time, council members expressed concerns about the size of the project, the number of student-oriented apartments and a need for more information before denying the project 4-1.

But on Thursday Trattler returned with a new site plan and with attorney Charlie Clement, and the council approved the water request 4-1. Councilwoman Jamie Leigh cast the dissenting vote.

"This is a parcel that does need to be redeveloped," said Councilwoman Lynne Mason, but she emphasized that the community already has "plenty of student housing."

"I'm going to support this because of the representation that this is going to be marketed to people who work in Boone," she added.

Councilman Andy Ball said he had concerns about the populations to which the housing would be marketed but that "I don't have a compelling reason not to support this."

Leigh voted against the allocation because she said she needed more information about the project, noting the town is already "overbuilt" in student housing and that the water ordinance states the town can show preference for smaller allocations.

The project's next step would likely be to obtain a special use permit from the Board of Adjustment, town staff said.

The Boone Town Council has exercised authority over water allocations since 2005, when it identified a need to begin planning for a new water source and established Public Utilities Ordinance 05-01, renamed 11-01 when it was extended two years ago.

Prior to the consideration of water requests Thursday, the town had 191,587 gallons per day left to allot in 2013 under Ordinance 11-01, according to the Public Utilities Department.

Ordinance 11-01 is set to expire at the end of this year, but the town's Water Use Committee recently began discussion another extension. The committee meets next on Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 5:30 p.m.