The Pinehurst Village Council Tuesday brought a long process to a close with the adoption of the comprehensive long-range plan. The process started over a year ago with several public hearings allowing the public to have input into the process.
Ten residents addressed the council opposing the plan. All of them spoke expressing concern that the plan would encourage more growth in rural areas in the extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction or ETJ.
ETJ is the legal authority of the municipality to exercise authority over areas adjacent to the city limits. It can vary, but usually, the ETJ is an area of approximately one mile from the city limit. It is also known as city perimeter planning. In any case, it is designed to allow a local municipality control over the area’s adjacent to the town limits.
With the upcoming election, council member Jack Farrell said he was leaning toward delaying the approval of the plan until after the election.
“But the longer I got into it; I realized that we had done a fairly good job,” said Farrell. He added that the next council could certainly make modifications “if they genuinely feel there is something that needs modification.”
The new plan leaves the density in the ETJ of one house per five acres but opens the possibility of high density residential and commercial centers.
The plan’s long-range goal is to move toward character-based zoning, which is designed to maintain (or establish) a character for a particular area.
Council member Judy Davis commented, “So we are going to follow character-based zoning and see if there is a real pony we can ride.”
The vote to adopt the plan was unanimous. You can see the approved version of the plan here.
In other business, the council was informed that several major highway improvements will be pushed back significantly.
Improvements to the Pinehurst traffic circle is now scheduled to begin in 2026. The widening of U.S. Highway 5 between Pinehurst and Southern Pines is now slated to start after the Men’s U.S. Open in 2024, and the widening of 15-501 between Pinehurst and Carthage is now set for 2029.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Pinehurst Council is November 12.
Feature photo by Sandhills Sentinel Photographer John Patota.
Local News/Government Reporter Chris Prentice.
Contact him at [email protected] or (910) 639-9303