Pinehurst Sets Hearing Thursday on Historic District
The hearing is part of a regular Planning and Zoning meeting starting at 4 p.m. in the Village Hall's conference room.
The new zoning district boundaries include 601 properties on 1,200 acres. It is in the area already encompassed as the National Historic Landmark District and designated by the Village Council in the 1990s as Old Town Center Historic Overlay District.
It covers additional areas where consultants with Circa Inc. have evaluated buildings to determine the value of their historic exteriors as reflecting the architectural and design standards of the Tufts era from 1895 to 1970.
Circa Inc. has inventoried buildings throughout the village, selecting those bearing historic architectural and design features built in the time period. It has recommended 601 structures for the inventory.
Some were left out, either because they reflect a more modern appearance or have been so renovated and altered to destroy or damage any original exterior characteristics from the 1895-1970 era.
So far, of 1,100 letters sent to property owners within the proposed boundary and adjacent to it notifying them of the public hearing July 6, about 30 had responded to the Village Planning Department.
"Most of those responding want their property to be included, but it hasn't been," said Planning Director Andrea Correll. She said every building will be evaluated, even newer ones, for exteriors characteristic of the historic Pinehurst era.
Everyone who wants to have a say will be able to do so Thursday before the advisory planning board makes a recommendation to the Village Council.
There will be more opportunities at three additional public hearings that will be held by the council before the entire Local Historic District zoning ordinance is adopted. Pinehurst's Compre-hensive Long Range Plan, which the council adopted three years ago, commits to establishing the district to preserve and protect the village's heritage.
The plan was compiled after almost two years of input and random surveys garnering Pinehurst residents' opinions. A strong desire to preserve and prevent destruction of the historic features that are tourist and economic assets to Pinehurst came out in the process.
The stated mission of the Pinehurst Historic Preservation Commission, whose appointed members include local residents and property owners of Pinehurst, is to "take no action except to preserve what is congruous with the village of Pinehurst Historic District."
More Hearings Planned
The all-local commission will be responsible for issuing permits to people who wish to alter or construct exteriors of these buildings. Before proceeding with renovations, owners must present plans adhering to a set of appearance standards and requirements.
The planning and zoning board already has been reviewing such plans within what is currently called the Old Village Center Overlay District on the zoning map. The changes would establish a separately trained and skilled commission with approval powers as to compliance with historic characteristics. Guidelines would be established for any exterior work done on historic buildings in the district.
Other permit requirements are still in effect.
The recommended boundary of the new district to be added to the town zoning map comes from a 2005 survey and inventory done by Citizen Survey.
Most of the buildings and houses already are in the Old Village Center Overlay District, but the new proposed boundaries encompass portions of golf courses 1 through 4 and radiates from the core village in all directions. The boundary goes west on Linden Road, northeast on Midland Road to the Pinehurst Traffic Circle, is bound by N.C. 211 to Dundee Road, and then runs west on Woods Road to Rattlesnake Trail and McCaskill Road.
The applications for permits will go to the commission, but routine maintenance and repair plans will be reviewed in-house by the planning staff.
The Council will hold public hearings July 25, Aug. 22 and Sept. 26, at its regular 1 p.m. meeting time in the Village Assembly Hall.
Before each of the three hearings, the Planning Department will send out 1,100 more letters of notification to property owners within the boundaries and adjacent to them.
After the four public hearings, the commission will begin reviewing cases.
The hearing is on the proposed boundaries drawn to show where the historically significant local structures are and to encompass them within the new zoning district. The boundaries aren't primarily defined by geography and land, as other zoning districts sometimes are.
The new ordinance will also cover a larger area of the village, but additional standards and requirements are being considered for recommendation to the council.
The council has appointed only local residents and property owners to the Pinehurst Historic Preservation Commission and is preparing all local standards in response to the reluctance of some residents to turn over local property-use decisions to people outside the local community.
Circa Inc. states in a report that a Local Historic District designation of properties does recognize the value to the local, state and national history but doesn't affect local property taxes.
A different local Historic Landmark designation can help a property owner get a deferral on property taxes as long as the owner keeps the property up and preserves its characteristics.
The value of a local historic district designation "can help to stabilize property values by maintaining the neighborhood's character," the report says. "It benefits property owners by protecting them from inappropriate changes made by other owners that might destroy the special qualities of the neighborhood."
More information, including a map of the proposed historic district, is available at www.villa geofpinehurst.org.
Sara Lindau can be contacted at (910) 693-2473 or email@example.com.
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