Village approves new use for old Blue Horse Market building

The Whispering Pines Village Council held their regular meeting on Oct. 12 at 6 p.m.

Council approved a conditional rezoning of a parcel of land at 3196 Vass Carthage Road from Neighbor Shopping to Neighbor Shopping Conditional.

The building was formerly known as the Blue Horse Market, New Matthew’s Market, and Matthew’s Market.

The new operation will include a tap room, coffee shop, and outdoor recreation. The bar and coffee shop will have indoor and outdoor seating, and the coffee shop will have a drive-through window.

The plan calls for a complete remodel of the interior. The project also calls for updated landscaping and for a couple of food trucks to be a permanent fixture.

The conditional acceptance had several restrictions, including limiting operating hours and limiting signage to a minimum. This is the first step in a process that could take several years.

Whispering Pines Mayor Glenn Bernhard stated, “This is a 100 percent improvement of what is there, and kudos to this individual for trying to start a business.” The motion carried 5-0.

In other business, the council approved an update to the town code of ordinances prohibiting the use of lakes within the village by for-profit companies. The update prohibits hosts (or guests) from collecting any money in conjunction with lake usage or lake access, including but not limited to, rental, services, or sales. The new ordinance is effective immediately.

The council also adopted a proposal to ban the use of motorized vehicles on village owned property. There have been multiple instances of dirt bikes damaging village properties. It has resulted in significant damage to open spaces and walking trails, resulting in both trip hazards, and the need for village staff to repair the damage. The ordinance makes exceptions for emergency vehicles, village owned equipment or vehicles that comply with ADA regulations (motorized wheelchairs).

The council considered modifications to the Hardee Lane Park Capital Project. After three unsuccessful attempts to formally bid the project, it scaled back to include a 10-foot walking trail, minor grading, and a driveway entrance off Hardee Lane.

The bid was accepted for $225,000. Upon review, it was discovered that the bid was for an 8-foot trail instead of a 10-feet. The contractor then revised the bid upward to make it a 10-foot wide trail along with a 1-foot concrete band on each side. The final bid (including a 10% contingency fund required by state law) was $267,000.

According to Village Manager Rich Lambdin, the contractor hopes to start within 30 days of contract approval, with an estimated completion date of spring 2023.

The next regular meeting of the Whispering Pines Village Council is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 6 p.m.

Sandhills_Sentinel~Article by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Chris Prentice. Contact him at [email protected].

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