BOONE – The Boone Town Council took a first step at restructuring its nuisance ordinances during its meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 15.
Town attorney Allison Meade presented her attempt at re-organizing the codes, which included breaking up several potential nuisances into smaller paragraphs.
The nuisance ordinance proposal comes out of the town’s amortization discussions from the first part of the year, which didn’t result in any action. Council later directed Meade to come up with re-organized codes that would aim to give police and staff “more teeth” to enforce its code on nuisance violators.
Meade’s proposal boiled down to restructuring Town Codes Title IX and creating Title XIII, which would be titled “Public Nuisances; Offenses.”
The Title VIII proposal would include extensive changes on regulations on public nuisances with a focus on abandoned, junked and nuisance vehicles, citations and abatement of the nuisances. For instance, in the proposed code, public nuisances could possibly include the outdoor storage of items in an outdoor and visible location, as well as placement of garbage cans outside of collection day. Meade said many of the changes she wrote came from state laws.
Meade’s Title IX proposal would also include minimal changes to addresses the storage and collection of solid wastes and recyclables.
Councilmember Sam Furgiuele, while generally in favor of nuisance ordinance changes, wondered if the council should go through this if there’s not going to be enforcement, saying he wants to know how many times people are cited for these offenses.
The discussion on line-by-line code changes took more than two hours, with Furgiuele and Meade going back and forth.A potential downtown Boone historical district was given initial approval by the council to move forward. The presentation was given by Eric Plagg, who in September presented a 380-page comprehensive architectural survey of downtown Boone.
Plaag presented a map – already unanimously approved by the town’s Historic Preservation Commission – that includes most of downtown ranging from Queen Street to Rivers Street. Plaag said buildings and properties were added based on their historical significance to the town.
A discussion centered around why certain properties were included, which ultimately added up to Plaag saying that the district he’s proposing is most likely to be approved by the N.C. State Historic Preservation Office. Councilmember Marshall Ashcraft said that later in the process, the town could decide to add or subtract properties from the proposed district.
If approved, Plaag said the designation means that if a property owner in the district wishes to do renovation work, the Boone Planning and Inspections’ office would have to determine if it goes through a “Certification of Appropriateness” process. The Boone Historic Preservation Commission would consider approval, with an appeal process built in.
Boone Town Manager John Ward said the staff can look at when to have public information sessions on the proposed district, which would require a public hearing before final approval.
Late in the meeting, Ward received approval from the council to negotiate the potential sales of the Town Council Chambers and police building at 1500 Blowing Rock Road and the Public Works Building at 321 E. King St. Ward asked for the permission saying that offers are starting to come in for both buildings, but moreso for the Public Works building due to the recently-approved hotel development across the street.
Ward said they’re still likely a ways off from a sale and added that a due dillegence period could last 200 days for any sale.
Ward added that the surveys of the properties were done and there were no major unexpected results. Ashcraft said as far as he’s concerned, there’s no major hurry, saying the town is three years from potentially moving to the Bolick Property.
Ward also added that he’ll have a site plan for the Bolick Property, where the town is seeking to move its police, public works and town council functions to, within six months. Ward said sale of the properties will finance the Bolick Property construction.
Furgiuele said Ward should push for the highest price if possible. Mayor Rennie Brantz asked Ward to communicate a general sense of what was happening back to the council.
The council gave final approval to adding nine new parcels of land to the downtown Municipal Service District. According to Ward, the second approval is required by state statute.
An engineering contract for goods and services between the town and Vaughn and Melton Consulting Engineers of Boone for the Hunting Hills bridge replacement project was approved by the council. The contract is for $257,674.51. Ward said that the bridge hasn’t been completely designed yet and took reccomendations from the council on how wide the sidewalks could be.
A contract for repairs to the Charles and Gladys Street water tank worth $164,600 was awarded to Utility Services Company. Boone Public Works Director Rick Miller said the tank is from the early 1990s and the hope is that the preventative maintenance is hoped to keep the tank working an extra 10-20 years.