Watauga County’s Proposed Downtown Parking Garage

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Watauga County’s Proposed Downtown Parking Garage

Watauga County’s Proposed Downtown Parking Garage

Joint Statement of the Boone Town Council and Watauga County Board of
Commissioners Concerning the County’s Proposed Downtown Parking Garage
(released June 22, 2022):

Watauga County and the Town of Boone have recently issued separate press
releases concerning a local law, House Bill193, requested by Watauga County to exempt
its proposed downtown parking garage project from the requirements of Boone’s
development ordinance. The County maintains that it had a valid legal concern regarding
the enforceability of the Town’s development ordinance as it relates to the recombination
of lots within the historic district, that litigation would significantly delay the project and
increase the project budget, and that the request for House Bill 193 was made in good
faith.

The County and the Town agree on the need for public parking to serve the
courthouse and other government buildings located in the historic district of downtown
Boone, as well as the desirability of additional parking available after business hours to
serve local citizens and visitors to the downtown. We also agree that it is to the benefit of
all town and county residents, businesses, and taxpayers that the County and Town work
together cooperatively, respecting both the taxpayers’ money and the Town’s efforts to
preserve its historic downtown.

 

Accordingly, our representatives have worked hard over the last few days to
address the concerns of each side. We have reached a consensus so that the local law
will be withdrawn, litigation can be avoided, and consideration of the County’s parking
garage project can move forward as speedily as possible consistent with the Town’s
development ordinance. We are glad of this outcome, and look forward to continuing to
work collaboratively and through more open communication to find solutions that are in
the best interest of all citizens.