Town seeks public comment on multi-family changes
by Anna Oakes
The Boone Town Council and Boone Planning Commission will hold a quarterly public hearing at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 to hear public comment on three cases, including new supplemental development standards for multi-family uses.
The standards developed by the Affordable Housing Task Force aim to create more housing stock suitable for families and the workforce. If approved, they would apply to all new multi-family projects in all zoning districts in the town of Boone, except for multi-family units that are part of a mixed-use building under Unified Development Ordinance Section 179.
Under the new standards -- UDO Section 175 -- no more than two unrelated persons could reside in each unit, and a mixture of unit configuration and sizes per development would be encouraged.
The section would require that a master suite at least 25 percent larger than every other bedroom be designated in every unit with two or more bedrooms, to be no less than 144 square feet excluding closet space.
The text would limit the bathroom-to-bedroom ratio depending on unit size. Garages or carports would be required for at least 25 percent of units, and storage space of at least 50 square feet would be required for units without garages.
In addition, developments would be required to provide a half square foot of livability space for every square foot of total floor area. Livability space is outdoor living space and landscaped areas, including lawns, walkways, paved terraces and sitting areas and outdoor recreation areas.
Residential buildings would be limited to three stories and no more than 50 feet in height. Parking would be limited to two spaces per unit, with a designated parking area for visitors.
The boards will also hear comments on Tree Board qualifications and the requested rezoning of a small tract owned by Watauga Medical Center from R-2 Two-Family Residential to O/I Office Institutional.