New Surface Chosen for Sand Parking Lot in Village
The village of Pinehurst is moving forward with a redesign for the sand parking lot.
The Village Council has selected bluestone gravel — common to many residents’ driveways — to replace the sand surface of the lot.
That work will be in conjunction with improvements to the Village Green. Earlier this month, the council had approved work on the green only. Tuesday, they opted to combine the projects.
“We had a plan for the green, the parking lot and the streetscape and we deviated from that,” Mayor Nancy Roy Fiorillo said. “We are just going back to what we started with.”
The pervious bluestone is the most cost-effective of the options. The council also considered a concrete pavement and a similar surface to the Fair Barn parking lot.
Council member Mark Parson said bluestone is the cheapest, most temporary surface that would allow for the village to more easily move parking off the Village Green in the future.
He also said it was hands down his choice.
“If money was no object I’d still go for bluestone,” Parson said.
Village engineer Mike Apke told the council that blue stone could look nice but it is a surface that “the village is going to have to maintain.”
Maintenance isn’t something that Parson fears.
“It is a good thing that we have to maintain it,” he said. “Anything that looks nice needs regular maintenance.”
The surface change will force the village to resubmit the project to the N.C. Department of Environment and Resources (NCDENR) for review.
The improvements are part of an overall downtown enhancement plan and include future streetscaping. The changes, when completed, will boost the number of parking spaces downtown and improve the surface in the current sand parking lot.
The number of spaces in the sand lot will increase to 120. Work is expected to take about a month to complete.
Council member John Cashion said combining the projects would cut construction time and thus “minimize the time you lose parking.”
While the working is continuing, parking spaces will be lost. To compensate, the village is exploring the options of renting spaces behind the Holly Inn and the Maples Building.
Parking and the sand lot surface have long been issues in downtown that many say have contributed to a parking problem and slowed business in the area.
The proposed project has also drawn the interest of the National Park Service because Pinehurst is a National Historic Land-mark.
The Park Service, which oversees the landmark status, has expressed concerns about incremental changes to the area that could adversely affect the status. The Park Service has suggested the Village create a report to document the historic nature of the village. The village chose not to do that report, saying it doesn’t offer a guarantee to preserve the status.
When asked about how the council intends to notify the National Parks Service of the work, Fiorillo said she would call officials there and then follow up with a letter.
The Village Green is part of the Pinehurst Historic District, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1996. The National Park Service, which oversees the landmarks, placed the villagelandmark on a “watch list” after learning of the construction of the Carolina Vista roundabout.
The council brought in two experts familiar with cultural landscape reports and had them meet with Park Service officials. After that meeting, the council opted to move forward with the planned improvements.
“This is something we need to go ahead and do,” Parson said. “To do the green and not the parking lot would throw the whole design out of balance.”
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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