New Parking Regulations discussed


The Appalachian Online

Ben Sessoms

The Boone Town Council and the town’s planning commission discussed new potential parking regulations, specifically in terms of the minimum requirement for businesses, and the current approach to loading zones on Feb. 27.

According to the agenda package for the meeting, the new regulations would require certain buildings to provide a minimum amount of spaces based on the number of occupants or square footage of the business.

The facility could either provide the minimum spaces or make a payment in lieu to the town’s off-street parking fund, according to the agenda package.

When asked by mayor pro tem Lynne Mason how much the payment would be, director of planning and inspections Jane Shook said that she did not yet know the exact amount.

Town attorney Allison Meade said  the potential issues with these regulations is that they allow multi-family facilities such as apartment complexes to make a payment instead of being required to provide parking on site to their residents.

“Is the town going take the position that, come hell or high water, we want residential to have parking on site?” Meade said.

Mason said that it is important to include residential parking and that the payment option should be geared towards commercial facilities.

In regards to loading zones, assistant town manager Jim Byrne said that designated tractor trailer parking is being incorporated into Howard Street and a small portion of King Street.

These designated spaces will serve as a test, and if they are successful, they will be incorporated into the rest of the downtown area, Byrne said.

Mason said there are loading zones on each block downtown, but that delivery drivers do not consistently use them.

Shook said that the meeting was meant to start a dialogue over the requested regulations.

“This was just to get this out there to get this conversation started again because this is such a big change for some of the items,” Shook said.

Story by: Ben Sessoms, News Reporter