Village Continues Work on NewCore
Major concerns centered on the entrance to NewCore from N.C. 211 on the north that would bring visitors into the district. Council members eventually zeroed in on the need to refine the upper half of the NewCore map as to land uses shown on the plan.
The council has envisioned a rejuvenated, mixed-use district that includes retail, offices and residential. The district now has a hodgepodge of land uses -- such as the village public works complex, some businesses and offices and vacant, overgrown lots. The village plans to relocate the public works complex and garage, which covers about six acres.
The proposed plan was based on public input, which calls for more retail options to augment the downtown commercial core, and more residential development. It is intended to serve as a guide for the future development of the district. The village would have to implement zoning changes to carry out the plan.
Murray Williamson, a member of the original steering committee that worked with Raybould & Associates of Raleigh and village staff to develop the master plan, was one of several residents who complained that the land uses drawn on the map seem cluttered, with both existing and conceptual buildings. The plan includes townhouses and condominiums, retail businesses and offices.
A number of single-family homes, multi-family housing, small business and other uses already exist along Rattlesnake Trail in the northern half of the district. Rattlesnake runs off N.C. 211. Village Planner Bruce Gould drew that route in as the simplest way for visitors to find their way into NewCore and on to the other parts of the village center.
Hughes Supply Co. is right in the path of the originally proposed Rattlesnake Trail corridor extension, and some rights-of-way would have to be acquired from a couple of businesses.
An alternate route using McIntyre Road drew little enthusiasm from council, except for Mayor Steve Smith. That road goes through residential areas.
The council by consensus also directed Gould to return to refine a tentative zoning ordinance that would allow any new development as planned unit development by a special-use permit. That would enable the council to keep details of any proposed new developments on a tight leash.
The zoning map showing land uses must be reworked on the northeast primarily. The zoning ordinance must correlate with the map, Village Manager Andy Wilkison said.
Gould said wording is already in the text to indicate the document is evolving and that it could be amended by the council later, if necessary.
"We are only sending planners back to prepare a zoning ordinance," Smith said. "We're not specifying where and which new buildings could be built. It's only a potential land use we are working on, within the present configuration of NewCore boundaries."
Steering Committee Chair-woman Jane Deaton rose from her seat in the audience, and as she walked out of the room during the meeting, said "I can't listen to this anymore." She later declined comment.
Council members Virginia Fallon and Doug Lapins later commented that Deaton and her committee had worked long and hard on the NewCore plan.
Gould suggested, and the council agreed, that he meet privately with one or two members at a time to review the progress and offer input.
The council imposed a moratorium on new development in the district until it adopts a land-use plan. The moratorium is in effect until August but the council is expected to extend it.
NewCore is bounded by Magnolia, McCaskill, Commun-ity, Dundee, Spur and Maple Roads until the council adopts a land-use master plan.
The council is not going to take any land through eminent domain, Mayor Pro Tem George Hillier emphasized. But he did say that the village might be able to purchase some property at a later stage for open space or some other public use. The village could even consider swapping property with someone who might be a master developer later on, Smith suggested.
The village, Moore County, Pinehurst Resort and a company called Punch Jones own the majority of the property in NewCore, Smith said.
Smith said he is becoming more interested in having a master developer, or developers, coordinate implementation of the master plan once the ordinances are in place. He said that would provide a more practical, effective way of seeing that the master plan is carried out.
The council delayed consideration of a master developer concept until the land-use and zoning plans are completed and approved, as Hillier suggested.
"It's 80-20 good," said Lapins, who had criticized the plan for lacking sufficient "vista" and green space in the northeastern part.
Nancy Roy, a retired Moore County planning director who was in the audience as an observer for the Pinehurst Civic Group, suggested that the village create a reference list of design features the council wants to encourage in the district. She said that could be used to evaluate various development proposals.
Council members expressed the opinion that the future of NewCore is very significant for the village. Decisions shouldn't be made too quickly, Fallon said.
Sara Lindau can be reached at 693-2473 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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