At the Pinehurst Regular Council Meeting Tuesday, several items of local importance were discussed.
A public hearing was held for R and M Commercial for a 40 unit townhouse development on LaForet Road near Linden Road and Foxfire Road. After several hearings, the planning board recommended acceptance of the development.
The developer requested a waiver from the village concerning curb and gutter. In a spirited discussion, council member Kevin Drum stated, “Based on my experience with homeowners associations, it is a struggle to maintain storm water systems. He went on to say, “We owe it to the community to make sure (a new development) is built to the highest possible standards.”
The developer has attempted to get permission to use Laforet Road as an entrance but has not yet had any success. If they are unable to obtain approval, there will be an entrance on Fox Fire Road.
The developer is planning to install a gate and Knox Box to permit access for fire and police.
The Townhouses will be two story units with at least two bathrooms. Twenty units will have double garages and 20 units without garages. Current Pinehurst zoning requires single or dual family housing units to be at least 1,500 square feet.
Due to low water flow rate in the area, the approval was conditional by the fire marshal on the installation of a sprinkler system (for fire suppression) in each of the units.
During the public comment session, a resident expressed concern that the current houses already have low water pressure and questioned how the additional construction would affect that. Village Engineer Mike Apke stated that Moore County provides water service in the area and would be a part of the technical review committee which would approve final construction plans.
Pinehurst Mayor Nancy Fiorillo stated, “It is the village’s responsibility to ensure that (new construction) is built to the applicable standards.” Councilman Jack Farrell added, “It is the council’s responsibility to look out for the long term interests of the village.”
The council approved the site concept with a few conditions, most notably to ensure proper storm water runoff. The final vote was 4-1 with Councilman Farrell casting the lone dissenting vote.
Also, Village Manager Jeffrey Sanborn reported to the council on fire department response time. The standard metric is that a responding unit should be able to arrive on site within 6 minutes and 30 seconds.
File photo~Sandhills Sentinel
In the last couple of years, there has been a trend of increasing response time. An internal analysis brought out two main concerns.
The primary factor is the geographical dispersion of the existing stations resulting in certain areas being at a long driving distance from the responding stations. Additionally, is the problems of overlapping calls which happens when one station is answering a call, and the equipment from the farther station would need to respond.
The purposed solution is a third station which should be located near the Western Lakes Community, Pinewild and ETJ areas, west of the city limits. The study is ongoing to allow for proper budget planning in the upcoming year.
Additionally, the council recognized several outstanding employees including Angel Smith, Village Code Compliance Specialist who has been selected as the 2018 North Carolina Zoning Official of the year. Angel is the sole compliance specialist for Pinehurst and handles over 1,200 complaints a year with a 96 percent voluntary compliance rate.
Also, the village was presented the Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Award. Only 12 cities nationwide are nominated nationwide.
The next Regular Council Meeting is scheduled for March 12.
Written by Sandhills Sentinel Local News/Government Reporter Chris Prentice.
Feature photo contributed.