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I hope the Village Council will be pleased with itself next year when construction starts on what in essence will be a four building Motel 6.
I agree that something should be done with the property; however, a 62 unit condo development in the Historic District is not the answer. This property has gone from zoning that allowed 2 single family homes to now 62 condo's. The council wanted a "transition" and now they've gotten it!
@ CSmithson: Does the DOT understand that every square foot of right-of-way for your suggested Rt. 1 bypass will only be obtained after lengthy court action and almost certain Eminent Domain proceedings? I think that there are sufficient "deep-pockets" in the area you outlined to cause the project to ultimately die with the allocated funds transferred to another DOT District. I do agree that folks need to read the Legal Notices for the project and attend the meetings and speak up!
@ Ms. Garner: The mayor and village council have apparently forgotten your reference to no further Given expansion. This is apparent by them not outright rejecting the plans they have seen that require them to sell/give approximately 1/2 acre of the Village Green to the Given for expansion now being discussed. The bigger issue now is if the mayor and village council will seek the opinion of the National Park Service before taking action on the property.
Everyone: $3 referenced in article is incorrect. I was in the meeting when Mr. Doninger said $3M which 1/4 of would be the $750K he asked for the one acre with a straight face. Almost funnier was when the Mayor then asked the Village Manager if the Village had $750K in the budget for the purchase. VM replied: All the money in the budget is accounted for - DUH! Mayor then told Doninger "Sorry" looks like we don't have the money - second DUH!
@hsd: You are absolutely correct wrt increased operational and maintenance (O&M) costs for the new jail. Unfortunately, we have three commissioners that ignored the $1.1M increase that was presented during the public hearing. Increased O&M was also ignored by the MC School Board in their Phase I construction which has now become a factor in their current budget. These are real expenses which the commissioners don't think about until annual county budget time or said another way, too late!
@irishman: I agree with your comment to Harvey wrt the fact that a variance is not being sought by the Chapel for the proposed 16,500 square foot "Learning Center". However, please do not begin to suggest that the Chapel property is zoned correctly. It's current Public Conservation (PC) designation is a joke and should never have been applied. You only need to look at the Pinehurst Development Ordinance (PDO) to see that the Chapel does not belong in that zoning classification. I acknowledge that a church is permitted in the classifcation; however, that doesn't mean that it's correct. The requirement that parking for the approximate 900 member Chapel is not required supports my argument that the Chapel property was incorrectly zoned from day one.
@Bflat: One would think that the Historic Commission would have the responsibility you cite. One Historic Commission memeber made a motion to send the Chapel plans to the NPS for review and received a second. Unfortunately, the vote on the motion failed. It should be noted that one commission member voting against the motion is also a Chapel member who did not see a conflict of interest while the chairman of the committee, also a Chapel member, did recuse himself to prevent any hint of a conflict.
Consider that 3 out of the 5 Village Council members are Chapel members that saw no conflict and did not recuse themselves with 2 out of 7 Historic Commission members also Chapel members of which one did recuse himself. This by itself speaks volumn's about their character.
It is truly a shame that Mayor Fallon, the Pinehurst Village Council and the Pinehurst Historic Preservation Commission have collectively turned their heads on the referenced National Park Service letter. In doing so, they have certainly set in motion the process for Pinehurst to lose its National Historic Landmark designation.
Here is the entire last paragragh of Mr. Scheidt's letter which seems pretty clear to me:
"Once again,I emphasize that NHL staff are ready to provide technical assistance as the Village contemplates changes which may pose a threat to the historic character of the Village Green and the Landmark district. I encourage you to submit proposed plans to our staff for review as soon as possible. The Village's timely communication with us will not only ensure the preservation of Pinehurst Historic District NHL, our paramount concern, but also will make unnecessary a formal consideration of withdrawal of the Pinehurst Historic District NHL designation."
The failure of the above three mentioned individuals and groups to take a simple action with the NPS will be a legacy I hope they are proud of when the NHL designation to lost.
@CSmithson: I agree with your above posting and would add that the majority of Moore County residents, including the commissioner's, don't have a clue as to the forthcoming impact to the BOE when the stimulus money ends this year. It's my understanding that $5M was received and used primarily for teacher salary. If reasonably accurate, one can then see that there is simply no way the BOE can maintain its current budget and teacher head count for the 2011-2012 school year without a substantial commissioner approved budget increase which we both know is as likely as pigs flying given the commissioner tax rate mentality.
At some time, the commissioners are going to need to wake up and accept that: 1) needed services are expensive, 2) School construction Phases II & III will both bring GOB new expense and finally, 3) tax increases are necessary and should have been planned for a few years ago.
@kenboyd: I was at the meeting and Susan seemed very certain as did her architect that the proposed outhouse could go on the little triangular sliver of land between her building and the one owned, I believe, by Tom Steward.
There are two stealth issues here.
The first is not her desire to provide Old Town the much needed ADA compliant restroom it needs but rather resolve an issue with Tom Steward. If you look at the property now you'll see a manhole cover in approximately the middle of the piece of land being discussed. This is the access to the underground 3000 gallon storm water tank mentioned in the article. It drains via holes in the bottom onto a limestone base. Apparently, this drainage is now entering the basement of Tom's building. Susan is trying to discontinue usage of the village mandated tank by placing the RR on top of it thereby discontinuing its usage and in doing so, solving her problem with Tom.
Her second issue, also mentioned in the above article, is her apparent need to secure additional financing for the project. Cost of the project, maintenance of the RR, etc. were not discussed although it seemed to me that her intention is to rent the RR to the village on an annual basis inorder to show an annual revenue stream for the project to justify the financing request to the banks.
An ADA compliant public restroom has been and is needed in Old Town
today. Where it goes and how to pay for it are issues the village council needs to answer.
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