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UPDATED: Standard at Boone rezoning approved

by Anna Oakes

The Standard at Boone mixed-use project received rezoning approval by a unanimous Boone Town Council vote June 19, moving an estimated $45 million redevelopment project one step closer to reality.

The project plans to redevelop the Scottish Inn and Red Carpet Inn sites with a five-story mixed-use building on Blowing Rock Road, a combined four- and three-story apartment building on Faculty Street, a parking garage and the daylighting and relocation of Boone Creek. The project includes 560 bedrooms, with students as a target market. Project leaders hope to complete the project in summer 2016.

The council granted a rezoning of several tracts included in the project from B-3 General Business to Conditional District B-3 General Business. The process requires that a public hearing be held and allows the council to place specific conditions on the project.

The applicant agreed to 14 conditions stipulated by the town, including a live-in apartment manager, an apartment offered for free to a public safety manager and the negotiating of landscaping decisions with town staff.

"I think this is that balance of putting higher density development where we want it so we can preserve the slopes and what makes this area so scenic and beautiful," Councilwoman Lynne Mason said. "This is where we have to compromise."

The council voted 4-0 to approve the rezoning, as Councilman Fred Hay was absent from the meeting.

Wintergreen Lane resident Lynn White again spoke on the project during the council meeting's public comment session, expressing concerns about the height of the apartment building planned for Faculty Street.

"I question the need for and the justification of permitting the fourth floor of that structure on Faculty Street," White said.

The council also approved a town water allocation of 93,828.8 gallons per day for the project, subtracting the allocation from water amounts designated to be allocated in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Project representatives previously stated that they believed the development would use much less water than calculated according to the town's water schedule. Public Utilities Director Rick Miller said that after two years, the actual water usage would be assessed and that the town would reimburse the development for water fees above and beyond its actual usage.