Business Owners Oppose Zoning Proposals
Some Pinehurst business owners are upset about proposed changes to the village's zoning ordinance that they say could make it more difficult to allow more offices in the downtown.
Tom Stewart, who owns the Harvard Building and Old Sport and Gallery in the village, expressed his displeasure with the possible changes in a phone interview with The Pilot Tuesday. He said he is not the only one upset by them.
"It's incredible that they could play fast and free with people's property," Stewart said. "How can these people go against free enterprise?"
The proposed changes are aimed at increasing the number of retail busineses and would prohibit certain kinds of offices on the ground floor of downtown buildings.
Stewart said the changes are an attempt to generate a more tourist-oriented business district, offering a greater variety of shopping. He questioned the need for more shopping, adding that there are plenty of retailers within a close distance of the village.
He argued that Pinehurst was never intended to be a tourist town, but instead a residential-resort community. He said there is a large difference between the two.
Stewart, who had owned property and a business in the village for the past 12 years, said offices and banks are integral parts of the community.
"What makes this is a great community is that we all get along," he said.
Stewart is worried that by regulating offices, the village could be subjected to an infusion of national chains.
No decisions had been made on the ordinance yet. The village Planning and Zoning Board tabled the proposal during its Sept. 4 meeting. It will hold a public hearing at 4 p.m. Thursday. Village planners declined to comment until after that meeting. The board could make further changes or table it all together at that meeting.
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