Moore County Commissioners conducted a Quasi-Judicial Hearing/Planning Tuesday concerning a new subdivision in West End on Gretchen Road.

Gretchen Pines will consist of 166 lots utilizing 211 acres out a 337-acre tract.  Current zoning regulations for the property would permit 461 homes and require 30 percent open space with 60 percent contiguous.

According to Tom Johnson, a Raleigh attorney who represents the applicant, noted that the current plan exceeds all current requirements.

For the county to approve a conditional use permit, it has to meet five conditions:

1. Will not materially endanger the public health or safety.
2. Meets all required conditions and specifications.
3. Will not substantially injure the value of adjoining property unless the use is a public necessity.
4. Will be in harmony with the surrounding area and compatible with the surrounding neighborhood
5. Will be in general conformity with the approved Moore County Land Use Plan.

Johnson pointed out that the proposed development meets these requirements, and the developers chose to go with a low-density development.

However, there were several opponents of the plan, including Laura Auman Pitts, whose farm is adjacent to the proposed development.

She stated that she does not object to new development but is concerned about the density, especially since the 2013 land-use plan designates the area as rural agriculture.

In a follow-up discussion when Chairman Quis learned that the ordinance does not require a buffer between the new development and the farm, he stated, “I could understand Pitt’s concerns.”

In response, Johnson promised to preserve as many trees as possible and voluntarily agreed to a condition of adding a 30-foot buffer between Pitts’ farm.

After an extended discussion, the commission was unanimous in approving the proposed development.

At the beginning of the meeting, Chairman Quis pointed out that Moore County just crossed over having 100,000 residents, which is a milestone.

The next Board of Commissioners meeting is September 3.

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


Feature file photo.

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