In the first test of an agreement between Pinehurst, Aberdeen, and Southern Pines to coordinate development within a quarter mile of shared boundaries, the Pinehurst Village Council went on record Tuesday as opposing an extensive development of homes and office space on N.C. 5.

The 119-acre development, across from the Sandhills Bowling Center, would have 120,000 square feet of retail and office space, along with almost 400 homes consisting of single family homes, cottages, and townhomes.

The Aberdeen Planning Board recommended against the development as well, citing concerns about traffic on Highway 5, infrastructure and opposition from local residents.

Local developer Riley and Walker Homes submitted a formal application April 9. The Aberdeen Town Board will make the final decision after a public hearing scheduled for May.

The intercity agreement does not specify a process for the towns to provide information and recommendations on other jurisdictions development plans.

According to Pinehurst Town Manager Jeff Sanborn, the short turn around time on the application did not give adequate time for the towns’ planning staff to evaluate the recommendation.

“It was certainly a fast-moving train,” Sanborn said.

In other Village Council business, parking is an issue in the village, according to Mayor Nancy Fiorillo. The village has already set aside $200,000 to address the issue.

Councilman Jack Farrell suggested they set up a committee of residents and stakeholders to discuss the problems and see if there are solutions. In discussions, it was pointed out that the laws and village code are unclear on what is and is not a parking violation.

Bills currently pending in the state government that aim to restrict local governments’ ability to regulate zoning and development was also discussed.

The County Board of Commissioners recently presented a resolution decrying “the usurpation of local governments authority to regulate development” and asked all 11 local governments to endorse it, which the council did.

It was also decided to utilize the neighborhood advisory committees to communicate to the 19 different neighborhoods in the village to inform the citizens of these bills and as Fiorillo stated, “This bill is eroding the authority of local government.”

The next regular meeting of the Village Council is May 14 at 4:30 p.m.

Feature photo courtesy of the Village of Pinehurst.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Local News/Government Reporter Chris Prentice. 
   Contact him at chris@sandhillssentinel.com or (910) 639-9303.

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