Village Eases Up On Rules
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"Basic work," a new category, has been added to the previous types of work and what is required to carry them out if the council adopts the standards and guidelines. "Basic work" could be accomplished without the previous requirement of filling out a form with the Planning Department.
Previously, the form had been required for the slightest improvement activity, such as planting a tree or putting up a mailbox.
The standards and guidelines have been revised in-house as the result of a public hearing July 25 and a private meeting between concerned property owners and planners. The latest proposed revisions were given to the Village Council for discussion at its Tuesday work session.
The council hasn't voted on the standards. Nor has it voted yet to establish the new Historic District boundaries, which are the subject of public hearings to be held Aug. 22 and Sept. 26 at the council's 1 p.m. Assembly Hall meetings.
The new district would have some overlap with the Old Town Historic Overlay District and the zoning regulations that it replaces. The new district is based on building age and historic architectural features more than location.
The council could adopt standards and guidelines before a public information meeting at 4 p.m. Sept. 19 in the Assembly Hall. The "final" ones would be explained then to the public, and questions could be answered. The council won't look for input.
Complaints about boundaries were from people upset that their properties weren't listed as "contributing" or included inside the boundary map of the proposed new Historic Preservation Dis-trict.
More Hearings Set
The project came about as the council's response to public input generated by the Comprehen-sive Long Range Plan for Pinehurst. The plan was adopted in 2003 after almost two years of virtually unanimous public input regarding protection and preservation of the historic village "core."
Historic Preservation District boundaries have been recommended to the council by its appointed local quasi-judicial Historic Preservation District Commis-sion, and by the advisory Planning and Zoning Board.
The commission is a quasi-judicial local body with review and approval powers over major construction and renovation work done on "historically contributing" properties to the local district.
The boundaries proposed come from a combination of surveys and inventories by the U.S. Park Service designating most of Pinehurst as a National Historic Landmark, plus a citizen survey. The latest inventory of buildings and their listing as either contributing or noncontributing within a boundary was prepared by consultant and preservationist April Montgomery of Circa Inc.
To be defined as "contributing," a property must have been built between 1985 and 1970 and have preserved the characteristics and appearance of the original architecture in the structure. The rules and controls over work done to a contributing property are more strict than for noncontributing properties.
The council will hold two more public hearings on the boundaries on Aug. 22 and Sept. 26, both at 1 p.m. in the Assembly Hall.
Planning Director Andrea Correll made it clear that Pinehurst Resort's golf courses Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 are not required to comply with the Historic District standards and guidelines, even though they are within the Historic District as contributing landmarks.
Golfer and frequent Pilot columnist Gordon White had questioned the council at its July public hearing on who makes the final decisions about golf course redesign and other changes -- the Resort or the local Historic Preservation District Commis-sion.
'Field of Play'
In 1999, at the request of the U.S. Golf Association, White said, Pinehurst Resort redesigned all the greens on No. 2, requiring the cutting of trees, as a condition for the playing of the U.S. Open there. He worried that adding a layer of review to any work done on the course could interfere with the successful operation of the courses, particularly for major tournaments.
Apparently also concerned about the impact of the golf courses being added to the local Historic Preservation District, Pinehurst Resort CEO Don Padgett II inquired about when final standards and guidelines will be determined. (The courses are already on the National Register of Historic Landmarks, but that's an honorary designation).
Brad Kocher, vice president of golf maintenance for the resort, is a member of the Historic Commission and will provide information to the resort. But Padgett suggested that other people might be confused about the process.
Correll reported to the council Tuesday that only manmade structures on the field of play would be regulated by the commission and fall under its standards and guidelines.
Trees, the greens and golf course itself would be exempt from the standards and guidelines, so that the Historic District Commission would have no control over changes in these items.
Even trees on the No. 1, 2, 3, and 4 courses growing to the edge of the road are still on the "field of play," Correll said later, and are therefore also exempt from the commission's standards and guidelines.
Property owners still must abide by other existing land-use regulations encompassing any property in the Historic District, such as residential zoning setback and other requirements and sign ordinances.
When White first asked his question at the council's public hearing in July, no one knew the answer. Councilwoman Lorraine Tweed promised to get him an answer.
The latest revised proposed standards and guidelines are on the village Web site, or may be viewed at the Village Hall.
Correll also said the historic district boundary has been altered to encompass a previously excluded block of East McCaskill Road containing four properties that will be "non-contributing" because they were built later than the designated historic time frame of 1895-1970.
Planning board member Jane Deaton, who owns one of the four homes, had opposed the original boundaries that excluded her home and those of three neighbors. She spoke at the council's public hearing last month to say she didn't understand why their block was excluded but other parts that seemed unsuitable to her were included.
Consultant Montgomery has reversed herself and recommended including the "entirety" of McCaskill's block. Montgo-mery said the new boundary "is more understandable to the public and still defendable as a historic boundary."
Sara Lindau can be reached at 693-2473 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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