Tyler's Ridge Is On Again
Developer Jim O’Malley has submitted a new application for Tyler’s Ridge at Sandhills that he believes meets all of the requirements under the Southern Pines Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).
“We made sure we dotted every single ‘i’ and crossed every ‘t’ to comply with the UDO,” O’Malley said Wednesday. “We’ve made every revision. We couldn’t afford to come back with a new application without doing that.”
O’Malley is seeking a conditional use permit for the mixed-use development.
Plans for Tyler’s Ridge include a commercial development on the north side, featuring small shops and a restaurant. A multifamily development on the south side includes 216 one- and two-bedroom dwelling units. The 46.3-acre project is located at the corner of N.C. 22 and Airport Road.
Robert Hayter, principal at The Hayter Firm in Pinehurst, said the development team worked with Town Manager Reagan Parsons, his staff and Town Attorney Doug Gill “every step of the way” while preparing the new application, which was submitted to the town on May 26.
“To the best of our knowledge, it meets all of the applicable requirements under the UDO,” Hayter said. “The plan has been completely reworked, even though it may not look that way to the untrained eye. It wasn’t just a matter of making a few adjustments.”
O’Malley withdrew the initial application in April after it became clear to him that the application did not comply with the UDO. The move pre-empted a vote by the Southern Pines Town Council on whether the application complied.
Parsons said a “preliminary review” of the new application discovered no “technical difficulties.”
“Obviously, because of the last application, a number of issues came to the forefront,” Parsons said. “It’s very apparent that there’s been some work put into the new application.”
The primary changes include the addition of three single-family lots, the reduction of total apartments from 232 to 216, the revision of access to N.C. 22 to improve traffic flow, and seeking a review of the project by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The town planning board is expected to hold a public hearing on the new application at its June 23 meeting.
“This time, all of our consultants will be at every public hearing,” Hayter said. “We want to advocate in a transparent and ethical way for Mr. O’Malley’s property rights.”
The controversial project led to public hearings in back-to-back months at both the council and planning board levels. The planning board voted 4-2 on Jan. 20 to recommend that the council deny a permit for the project.
Board members said their decision was based on findings of fact that suggested the development’s proximity to the Moore County Airport could possibly compromise public health and safety.
The property is zoned Planned Development (PD) and is on the west side of N.C. 22 between Airport Road and Aiken Road and across from Warrior Woods Road. The site also adjoins property owned by Sandhills Community College and a private property owner, Esther Frye.
Opposition to the project centers around safety concerns, aircraft noise, an alleged glut of apartments in Southern Pines, current commercial space vacancies in Moore County and the project’s proximity to the Sandhills Horticultural Gardens.
FAA standards prohibit the construction of any structure that would encourage public assembly in a runway protection zone (RPZ), areas that extend beyond the edge of a runway.
RPZs are trapezoidal zones that have specific land-use regulations to keep runways clear of any obstacles that could hinder takeoff and landing. They begin 200 feet beyond that area usable for takeoff and landing.
The airport is seeking federal funds for expansions that it hopes to make over the next three years in preparation for the back-to-back U.S. Opens in 2014. Expansion plans include the extension of the airport’s main runway 600 feet toward N.C. 22 and 400 feet toward Hardee Lane in Whispering Pines.
The commercial portion of the project and the three single-family lots would be in the airport hazard overlay zone, but the multifamily residential portion would not.
However, part of the multifamily residential portion is under the eventual departure path for planes coming off the main runway at the airport once the expansion is complete.
Contact Ted M. Natt Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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