NewCore Zoning Plan Up for Hearing
Pinehurst is poised to rezone the 35-acre NewCore area as a new Planned District that would require individualized plans and special permit approvals as new development occurs.
The advisory Planning and Zoning board will hold two public hearings at its meeting Thursday at 4 p.m. in the village Assembly Hall.
The first hearing is on a proposal to create a Planned District (PD) zoning category, and the second is on the village's proposal to rezone all of the properties in the NewCore district to PD.
The NewCore district is bounded by Magnolia, McCaskill, Com-munity and Dundee roads and Rattlesnake Trail.
A master plan calls for transforming the unsightly area into a mix of shops and other retail businesses, offices and some residential units. It would create an aesthetically appealing, pedestrian-friendly connection to the historic village center.
Formerly known as the old service district, the NewCore area has a hodgepodge of zoning districts and land uses. The area includes some businesses, offices, the village's public works complex, a ground water storage tank, the old Pinehurst Resort steam plant and some overgrown vacant lots.
Part of the NewCore area adjoins the new village municipal complex where the Arboretum is being constructed on village-owned property.
The resort's steam plant building, at the corner of Magnolia and McCaskill, now covered in vines, was designated years ago for demolition, which hasn't occurred.
Farther south, the original historic fire station and Manor Inn are also in the NewCore district.
The Planning and Zoning Board will make a recommendation to the Village Council on creating the new zoning district and rezoning the NewCore area.
The council will make the final decision on approving the PD category and zoning change, probably in October after holding its own public hearing.
Once the zoning is in place, it would be up to private property owners and developers to implement the concepts called for in the master plan.
A moratorium on new development within NewCore is in effect until Nov. 16. The council has extended it several times since the first three-month moratorium went into effect a year ago. The council imposed the moratorium while it developed a master plan and zoning plan for the district.
The village hired Raybould and Associates of Raleigh to develop the master plan and formed a steering committee to gather public input.
Notices of the public hearing and maps were mailed to more than 35 individual property owners in the area, said village Planner Bruce Gould.
"The Planned Development proposal is a special classification that is a flexible type of zoning district allowing mixed uses," Gould said.
The proposed zoning district does allow flexibility in terms of specific detailed site plans and special-use permits required for new development.
It would allow more oversight on the part of the Village Council and staff for each planned project within NewCore than is called for under ordinary zoning district classifications.
General principles of this new ordinance include encouraging a future mixed-use urban configuration with retail and commercial clustered in a "tight-knit, pedestrian friendly environment with compatible amenities such as restaurants, entertainment, housing and related services," the proposal says.
It also calls for "buildings designed to be compatible with historic Village Center buildings (to) reinforce the cultural heritage of Pinehurst."
The village's comprehensive long-range plan adopted in 2003 called for the village to come up with a master plan for what was then a 19-acre area.
However, the council approved the NewCore master concept plan that has property at the corner of Magnolia and McCaskill extending along both roads' frontage, opposite the village Arboretum where potentially new condominiums and townhouses could be developed. It also has property on the opposite sides of NewCore boundary roads.
The village proposes to rezone 35 acres to PD, affecting 36 individual properties, according to Gould.
If the PD zoning is approved, it would replace the hodgepodge of zoning categories in place now, including Neighborhood Retail, Office and Professional, Public Utility, Light Industrial and Commercial.
The village plans to move its public works complex and garage to a new site, freeing up about six acres for redevelopment or for open space.
NewCore has some historic buildings within the proposed boundaries of a separate new Historic Preservation District that adds another set of standards and guidelines and review process by a Historic District Commission.
Sara Lindau can be reached at 693-2473 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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