Council to Appeal Rejection of Village Green Plan
The Pinehurst Village Council, saying it likes the original improvement plan for the Village Green, will appeal last month’s rejection of that proposal by the village’s Historic Preservation Commission.
The council voted 4-1 Tuesday afternoon to direct Village Attorney Mike Newman to file this week an appeal of the June 29 decision. The commission on that day voted 4-2 not to issue a Certificate of Appropriateness for the proposed enhancements.
The appeal will be made to the Board of Adjustment.
The council also asked that the appeal be heard as soon as possible.
It is anticipated that the appeal will be heard no sooner than Sept. 6, though the exact date and time is yet to be determined, said Village Manager Andy Wilkison.
The village had until the end of the week to file the appeal.
The Board of Adjustment may affirm, overturn, or send the project back to the Historic Preservation Commission.
If that board’s ruling is appealed, the issue will go before Moore County Superior Court.
“It’s complicated,” said Village Manager Andy Wilkison, “But it is the system we have.”
The council briefly discussed the issue during its morning work session.
“It is no secret that I favor appeal, but we need to look at all our options and the ramifications of an appeal,” said Mayor Nancy Fiorillo.
After the decision, Fiorillo and other council members declined comment on the matter, referring questions to the village manager.
Earlier this month, the council revised the original plan, giving the village an opportunity to resubmit a new plan to the Historic Preservation Commission, if it opted not to appeal. The other option the village had was to accept the decision and drop the proposed improvements altogether.
Following its ruling on June 29, the commission called the plan “incongruous” with the Historic District, citing concerns with the number of trees to be removed in the plan and the encroachment of the parking lot into the village green.
The revised plan addressed those concerns but was not well-received by a majority of the council.
Tuesday morning, council member Doug Lapins said his concern all along has been improving parking downtown.
He called the original plan a “good start to improving parking” but added, “I don’t believe the compromise plan achieves that.”
Council member John Strickland maintained his support for the revised plan, saying it is more flexible moving forward.
“If we do such a large project, it may take away some of our options in the future,” he said.
He defended the Historic Preservation Commission and its work and urged the council to use “caution and compromise” as it moves forward.
Council member Mark Parson said he was “inclined to appeal,” and council member John Cashion added that he “stands by” the original plan.
In prior meetings to discuss the improvements, many residents who have spoken supported the original plan, saying that the smaller, revised plan didn’t meet the current or future needs of the village.
The council has said it hopes to complete the project prior to the June 2014 when Pinehurst hosts golf’s U.S. Opens.
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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