The Town of Southern Pines discussed at its May 5 meeting to remove the signage waiver under Resolution 930 allowing for additional temporary signage at businesses during the pandemic. The waiver had been effective since June 2020, and Governor Cooper’s Executive Order No. 209 expires June 1 when more state restrictions are expected to be lifted.
Planning Director BJ Grieve said signage began with messages about being open during restrictions and offering take-away but evolved into a misunderstanding about a total signage exemption. Vinyl banners, feathered-flag banners and inflatable signage have been used under the signage waiver. “In some places, it’s gotten pretty bad,” Grieve said.
Approved temporary signage ends 15 days after Resolution 930 is amended, and a grace period for removing additional temporary pandemic signage will be extended 30 days after the state ends Phase 3 restrictions. The town will vote on amending Resolution 930 on May 11 and will send notices to businesses stating the date of the end of the signage waiver.
At the upcoming May 11 meeting, the town will vote on amending the FY 2021 budget to transfer $225,340 from the Fund Balance to the Open Space Project Budget to make a principal payment on 157 acres by Reservoir Park known as Whitehall Tract. The town recently purchased the adjacent land for 1.65 million.
The town will also hold a public hearing on May 11 and vote on May 24 on increasing the Morganton Road Water Line Replacement Project Fund by $100,000 from Fund 67 under the General Project Fund for water and sewer. The increase is needed to cover “things found when tying into the line that changed engineering,” according to Town Manager Reagan Parsons. The entire $100,000 is not expected to be needed, and remaining funds will transfer to another project fund.
On May 11, a public hearing will be held on rezoning .79 acre on West Pennsylvania Avenue, and the town will vote on the rezoning on May 24. Planning and zoning noted the property is not zoned for a preschool but is approved for an elementary or secondary school. Moore Montessori is a charter school using the property but is moving to a larger building. RAB Investments, LLC wants the property zoned for commercial business which allows preschool use. Most of the property in the area is zoned for commercial business.
Another public hearing will be held May 11 on expanding Legends Apartment Community at 500 Legends Drive and a vote will take place on May 24. The proposed development will utilize land on Morganton Park North Development. The area includes the end of Patriot Boulevard next to Southern Pines Elementary School on South Carlisle Street and the extension next to the existing Legends Apartment community. The proposed development would total 432 units on 27.03 acres.
To learn details of the May 11 public hearing topics, read the agenda prepared by Assistant Town Manager Jessica Roth. The agenda carries more details than former agendas to aid citizens in making informed decisions.
“ I personally think that’s a good idea for citizens to be able to read this, and if there’s something they are interested in, they can dig deeper,” Mayor Carol Haney said.
Feature photo: A banner sign hangs outside Scott’s Table at 311 SE Broad St.
Article and photos by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Stephanie Sellers.