Village Project Opposed
A proposed upscale town home development across from the Arboretum in Pinehurst is drawing opposition from neighboring residents.
Opponents said the development doesn't fit in the neighborhood, has insufficient parking, and would increase traffic congestion in the area.
"It is a very monolithic project," said John Marcum, a member of Concerned Citizens of Pinehurst.
The proposed development is bounded by Magnolia Road, McCaskill Road East and Caddell Road. The proposal includes 20 units with associated fencing, landscaping drives and arbors, signage, and a common area with gazebos and benches. Redtail-Magnolia owns the 3.89-acre tract, and the applicant is Michael Donninger.
"We're not opposed to that land being developed," said Mary Sayers, who lives near the proposed development and is a member of Concerned Citizens. "There are simply too many houses both for the land and the neighborhood."
She said the project is "not in keeping with Old Town" and that the town homes will "stick out like a sore thumb."
Concerned Citizens bought a half-page ad in the Friday edition of The Pilot as well as today's stating its opposition to the project and encouraging residents to submit comments to the group and/or attend the public hearing on the project. The public hearing will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Village Hall.
The ad in The Pilot said the development will be "clearly incongruous" with the historic district," and parking spaces would be inadequate."
Two-car garages are proposed for each unit, but there is no additional parking in the complex.
Concerned Citizens also opposed a DOT-proposed roundabout near the intersection of Carolina Vista and N.C. 2, claiming that it would harm the historical nature of the area. A legal battle is ongoing, and the project is on hold.
The development has received a certificate of appropriateness from the Pinehurst Historic Commission. The Planning and Zoning Board has already approved the plans.
The developers still must receive approval of a special-use permit and a setback waiver from council to proceed.
Sayers said she was concerned that there is no planned parking inside the development. She said residents or their guests may have to park on the street, which could pose safety problems.
"We run the risk that emergency vehicles couldn't get through on Caddell," Sayers said.
Both Marcum and Sayers said they thought the project would be less problematic to residents if the density of the development was reduced, if it was set back farther from the street, and if extra parking was available inside the complex and not on the street.
"Make it so it fits in and blends in with the neighborhood," Sayers said. "What they have now will not."
Marcum even proposed a possible land swap between the village and the developer.
"I have suggested that four-acre parcel should be taken by the village as an extension of the Arboretum with parking on the side, and the developer should be given an equivalent four-acre piece up deeper in New Core, but it hasn't taken hold," Marcum said. "That or the developer needs to be asked to go back and meet the concerns."
Contact Tom Embrey at 693-2473 or by e-mail at tembrey@ thepilot.com.
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