JERRY ROWERDINK: Not All Pinewilders Are Opposed to Annexation
Several recent articles in The Pilot may give people the impression that everyone in Pinewild is opposed to annexation by the village of Pinehurst. That is not true. Many people in Pinewild are not opposed and/or do not support the lawsuits attempting to stop it.
One of the recent articles reported that 750 Pinewild property owners were plaintiffs in one of the suits. However, married couples were counted as two, and on that basis Pinewild has 2,000 property owners. Thus, 750 is less than 38 percent of the property owners in Pinewild.
The purpose of this letter is to explain why I and many other Pinewilders do not support these legal actions.
First and most important, it's only fair that we should pay our share of the taxes that support the area in which we live.
Pinewild people moved here from every corner of the country. And it was the appeal of the entire area, not just Pinewild, that attracted most of us here. As nice as Pinewild is, it's a pretty safe bet that if it was located 50 miles in any direction away from Pinehurst, very few of us would be here. So if Pinehurst is what attracted us here, it seems only fair that we should pay our share of the taxes.
Residents of Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen all pay county taxes and local taxes levied by the municipality in which they live. Is there any reason why Pinewild residents should be exempt from local taxes?
I don't like taxes any better than anyone else, and I pay more than most. But as I see it, it's a matter of fairness. I came here because of Pinehurst, so I think I should pay my taxes like everyone else.
Second, Pinehurst has said that if it annexes Pinewild, it will extend its zoning jurisdiction to the areas around us to the greatest extent possible. Pinewild property values and the attractiveness of our area will be better protected if Pinehurst controls the zoning of these areas.
Either Pinehurst or Moore County will control the zoning, and I trust Pinehurst to do it better. Pinewild has been under Pinehurst's extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction since its beginning and would not be what it is today without the influence of Pinehurst's zoning standards.
Third, the agreement negotiated in 2006 between the Pinewild Property Owners Association and Pinehurst included many provisions which are beneficial to us -- most important, assurance that Pinewild will forever remain in control of its gates and streets. In 2006, more than 58 percent of Pinewild property owners voted to accept this agreement, which provided for annexation in June 2008, a two-year delay from Pinehurst's original plans.
It is true that some of those votes were cast to gain additional time to fight the annexation. However, it is also true that the majority of Pinewild people have said they do not favor legal action to stop annexation.
The entire community was surveyed before our negotiations with Pinehurst. And in that survey (the only one ever taken on this subject), only 21 percent favored legal action. More than twice as many either were in favor of annexation or preferred to negotiate an agreement with Pinehurst. Such an agreement was reached, and the majority of Pinewild property owners voted to accept it. This agreement has been signed by both Pinehurst and Pinewild.
I fully support the right of my neighbors to challenge the annexation in court and to get the annexation laws changed. That is their right, and it is the American way. However, we have not only rights but also responsibilities. And one of them is to pay the taxes we owe.
In this case, I think we owe it.
John Rowerdink lives in Pinewild.
More like this story