Southern Pines rezoning options studied

The Southern Pines Town Council met virtually, due to COVID-19, for its Monday, June 22 work session. During the meeting, a motion to adopt the budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year was approved.

Later in the session, Bob Koontz, representing the Boys & Girls Club, discussed possible rezoning of land owned by the organization. The alteration would move designation of the property from Facilities, Resources, Recreation (FRR) and Residential Single-Family-1 to Planned Development (PD). The property sits where West Morganton Road intersects with South Henley Street.

The PD district would include about 26.6 acres, of which 1.32 acres are owned by the Boys & Girls Club. The rest of the land belongs to either the Town of Southern Pines or the Southern Pines Housing Authority. The Boys & Girls Club wants to sell its property at the site.

A PD district would bring flexibility, so any options currently available for the parcel wouldn’t be eliminated. Koontz, of KOONTZ JONES Design, presented three possible concepts for usage. The first involves retail and office, while the second concept has a residential component. The third concept contains a recreational element.

“The zoning we’re talking about doesn’t preclude anything,” Koontz said. “It actually adds additional ability to this parcel.”

He also stressed the town would have long-term control over development.

A lot of engagement related to a change, from those in the area, is anticipated. With that in mind, the council decided that more research was necessary.

“We have to walk carefully,” Mayor Carol R. Haney said. “That’s how we do this.”

At the meeting’s start, a hearing was held regarding continued development at Forest Creek, a gated community off Airport Road. The hearing on a conditional use permit (CU-03-20) for developers of Forest Creek, which has more than 700 lots, began June 9. The applicant wants to add 25 dwellings to the project and add multi-family condominium development as a use for the property.

Originally, in 1999, up to 750 dwellings were approved. With the change, the number would increase to 775 dwelling units.

Forest Creek is billed as being ideal for those desiring single-family homes and for featuring a wide array of styles and time periods. Homes in the community are typically on one-acre lots and have four bedrooms and bathrooms. Along with residential lots, Forest Creek features two golf courses, a clubhouse and amenities.

After much discussion, including a presentation by Koontz, the council agreed additional study of the matter was required. 

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Dave Lukow.

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