The following is the statement as 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 We have reached a consensus so that the local law will be withdrawn, litigation can be avoided, and consideration of the County’s parking garage project can move forward as speedily as possible consistent with the Town’s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.