Historic Commission Rejects Proposes Changes to Village Green
Plans proposed by the village of Pinehurst to enhance the downtown parking lot and the Village Green have hit another snag.
The village will now have to modify the design of the proposed enhancements after the Historic Preservation Commission on Friday voted 4-2 against issuing a certificate of appropriateness (COA) for the plan, citing issues with the number of trees affected in the plan and the size of the proposed parking lot.
Historic Preservation Commission Chairman Howard Warren said the project in its current state is incongruous with the historic district.
“The design and layout would have to change,” he said.
The plan presented to the commission included creating a large open area in the Village Green and changes to the current downtown sand parking lot.
Warren, Patrick Duffy, Nancy Smith and Jim Lewis voted against issuing a COA. Joyce Franke and Carl Holstein voted for it. Frank Thigpen was absent.
Since the project is in the historic district, it must receive a COA from the commission before it can move forward. The applicant can abandon the project, change it or bring back the same project on appeal for another review, Warren said.
“Our goal is to approve projects, he said. “But this one didn’t meet the criteria.”
Village Manager Andy Wilkison said the plans will be revised and resubmitted to the commission.
“This will affect the timeline for the project,” Wilkison said.
The revised plans will be presented to the Village Council at its July 10 work session, Wilkison said.
“I can’t say that we weren’t disappointed,” Mayor Nancy Fiorillo said. “The council will review the (HPC) findings and try to tweak our proposal appropriately.”
The village has also retracted a request for bids on the project until it meets the necessary approval.
Earlier this year, the council set an aggressive timeline for the improvements to be made so that work will be completed by June 2014, when Pinehurst hosts the U.S. Open and Women’s Open in back-to-back weeks.
During Friday’s Historic Preservation Commission meeting, Holstein made a motion to approve the COA for the project, and Franke offered a second. The remaining members — Duffy, Smith, Lewis and Warren — voted against the motion. The commission then voted by the same margin to deny the COA.
Among its duties, the Historic Preservation Commission reviews and acts upon requests for major work requiring a COA for alterations, demolitions or new construction within the historic district.
If the plan ultimately receives a COA from the commission, it will then go to the village Planning Board for review.
The council discussed the proposed plan during a meeting on June 25. Councilman John Strickland said then that he could not support the plan in its current form, saying it was out of scale for the area and the parking lot was too invasive into the green.
Fiorillo and two other council members, John Cashion and Mark Parson, supported the plan during that meeting. Council member Doug Lapins didn’t say whether he would support the plan or not but did say he had some reservations.
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or by email at email@example.com.
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