What is the Unified Development Ordinance?
The Unified Development Ordinance is a consolidation of most Town of Boone ordinances and regulations related to the development and use of property into one document. Rather than have separate ordinances effecting such things as land use, subdivision of property, protection from flooding, requirements for protection of the natural environment, and preservation of the traditional character of the Town of Boone ; all of these concerns have been consolidated into one document. The Unified Development Ordinance addresses requirements relative to site development and use of real property; it does not include building regulations, which are included in the North Carolina State Building Code.
Why is it necessary?
There is great interest in development related activities within the Town of Boone. This interest is on the part of both those interested in developing within the Town and citizens that live and work within the Town that want to insure development is planned and carried out in a manner that is consistent with the character of the Town. The Unified Development Ordinance is a single source of information that presents most of the regulations regarding site development.
Are all the regulations needed?
All of the regulations were adopted after careful consideration and are intended to protect the health, safety and well being of current and future residents of the Town. Some of the regulations were developed in response to concerns raised by local residents; others were developed in response to mandates from the State or Federal government. An example of regulations adopted in response to State mandates is the watershed protection requirement. This is to insure that the drinking water supplies of the Town are protected from contamination due to actions of owners of properties that are in the vicinity of the water source. The Town adopted Flood Plain management regulations in order to provide that the Town may be eligible for assistance from the Federal Government in case of a declared natural emergency. Participation by the Town in the Federal Emergency Management Agency program permits residents of the Town and Extra Territorial Jurisdiction to purchase flood insurance. This insurance provides some protection of property that may be damaged by floodwaters, without this insurance the cost of repairs falls totally upon the property owner. Most of the regulations; however, are in response to input from the citizens of the Town. The most common of these regulations are the zoning provisions. The Town Zoning regulations provide fourteen (14) zoning districts. The districts are designed to ensure that only compatible uses are permitted within each district. Generally the regulations attempt to insure that every property owner is permitted a reasonable use of the property, while protecting the rights and values of adjacent properties.
Where did it come from?
The Unified Development Ordinance is the product of many hours work contributed to the Town by a group of interested citizens that represented a wide cross section of interests. This Ad Hoc committee was appointed by the Town Council and combined the Town Zoning and Subdivision regulations into a single document. After a public hearing and other public meetings the Town Council adopted this code. Subsequent to the adoption of the original Unified Development Ordinance amendments have been adopted. These amendments have been adopted to address new mandates, conditions that have resulted due to increased knowledge of development issues and to respond to issues that emerged after the adoption of the Unified Development Ordinance in 1997.
How can the Unified Development Ordinance be changed?
Any citizen can submit a request to change any provision of the code. Four times a year a public hearing is held to consider proposed changes. After consideration of input received at this hearing and after a recommendation from the Town Planning Commission, the Town Council will act on the request.