Revised Village Green Plan Presented to Council
A proposed concept design plan for the Village Green will be a "catalyst for the reinvention of Pinehurst's town center," according to its designers.
The plan includes the expansion of the Given Memorial Library and Tufts Archives, a relocation and slight expansion of the sand parking lot, the inclusion of open space and the improvement of traffic flow near the Village Green.
It was presented to the council during its work session Tuesday morning. The council took no action.
The changes, the plan's proponents say, will help reinvent the village core without losing sight of past history.
The plan was well-received by the council, but there was one overriding question.
"Would these improvements be worth giving up National Historic Landmark status?" council member Nancy Fiorillo asked.
The village has had continuing talks with representatives from the National Park Service about how some recent projects, such as the Carolina Visita roundabout and the proposed expansion of The Village Chapel, could cost the village its landmark status.
Mayor Ginsey Fallon said she believed he possibility of losing the status was a chance worth taking.
There are three main elements to the plan: expansion of the library, increased parking and the creation of an open space area to improve interconnectivity downtown.
The concept design team that created the plan was headed by LandDesign Inc.
About 200 feet - 65 feet on the east, west and south sides of the current library property will be needed for its expansion.
Pat Corso and Audrey Moriarty spoke on behalf of the library. They indicated the desperate need for space to accommodate the village's growing population with a changing demographic.
The Given Memorial Library was built in the early 1960s to serve a village population of about 1,500. Now the village has roughly 14,000 residents.
The Tufts Archives was built in the early 1970s. The facilities have not been expanded since.
Moriarty said the additional space in the library could allow for improved services for the more than 5,000 card holders, as well as others who might visit the facility.
"I hope you can see we could use more room and would use it more effectively," she said.
Moriarty said extra room could allow for things such as adult computer classes, more books and other library materials, and improved space for programs such as story time, which she said, is "growing out of control."
Corso said the proposed expansion would allow the possibility of a wing for the library, a museum and an archive.
"We think this facility, in the future, can be the heart and soul of the village," he said.
The plan also calls for converting a portion of the north end of the sand parking near the library into a 1.5 acre open space. The sand lot would then be reworked and extended minimally at the southern end to add about 15 parking spaces.
It calls for reworking the west side of the Village Green and putting in some asphalt for parking that would add 22 spaces, said Bob Koontz, director of land planning and landscape architecture with Hobbs, Upchurch and Associates.
The plan would call for the removal of about 52 trees. There are an estimated 1,060 trees in the Village Green.
Kontz said the revisions would "add order" to the parking situation and make it easier to get around downtown.
"It will create a very strong link to the village core and the Village Green," Koontz said.
The plan also included some streetscaping along Chinquapin that proponents said would remove inefficiencies and improve traffic patterns.
When discussing the plan and the possibility of supporting it and moving forward, council member Doug Lapins said the council needed to do a good job presenting the project to the public.
"If we are serious about this," he said, "we need to put this presentation together and sell what we are doing. We have to do more than (say), 'Here it is. What do you think?'"
Contact Tom Embrey at email@example.com.
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