A parking garage is being considered by Pinehurst Resort as they try to gain approval for a zoning change from the Village of Pinehurst for the construction of a new hotel. That, and other new information, was presented at a regular council meeting Tuesday.
Discussion of sufficient parking has been the central issue in previous meetings of the Village Council ever since the new hotel, called the Pinehurst Lodge, was first brought up last month. The Pinehurst Resort intends to build a 34-room, $16.2 million hotel on the grounds of the Pinehurst Country Club.
The hotel, together with a previously approved USGA facility, will put extra pressure on parking, already a concern. Pinehurst Resort officials presented an update to address the issue Tuesday night.
Richard Higginbotham, Pinehurst Resort CFO, outlined plans to add parking that could involve an aboveground parking garage.
“There is no decision if we are going with a parking deck or surface parking at this time,” Higgenbotham said. One consideration would be to turn the tennis courts into parking space. Relocation of the tennis facility is being considered.
Expanded employee parking behind the Carolina Hotel and the use of an off-site lot for transportation shuttles have been proposed by the Pinehurst Resort, all in an effort to satisfy the requirements set by the village.
Colored architectural drawings were shown at the meeting. The renderings presented a sense of scale, comparing the new hotel to the historic clubhouse. Presented from different points of view, together with golfers drawn into the scene, it showed the difference in size and architectural design.
In a previous meeting, residents commented that the new hotel would overpower the clubhouse. The drawings seem to address that concern.
The issue of flooding was brought up for the first time Tuesday. A representative of the Sandhills Woman’s Exchange, the owner of the 98-year-old cabin adjacent to the Pinehurst Resort, spoke before the Village Council.
“If the Pinehurst Resort is considering parking where tennis courts 3 — 6 are located behind the cabin, we feel it will increase flooding of the cabin, home to the Sandhills Woman’s Exchange,” said Barabra Summers, board president of the Sandhills Woman’s Exchange. “Steps must be taken to prevent future flooding problems.”
Since the Pinehurst Country Club Members Pool was built, there has been more flooding to the grounds of the Woman’s Exchange, according to Summers. The capacity of the existing drainage pipes and detention pond, owned by the village, was brought into question by Summers.
“If the parking garage is built, or the courts remain, we will have an issue with runoff and flooding,” said Summers. “It should be noted that part of the tennis court is built on cabin property.”
The Village Council did not take action on the project Tuesday. The proposal will be taken up at the next meeting on June 22.
~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter John Patota.
Rendering photos courtesy of Village of Pinehurst.