Next Round of Forums This Week on UDO Revision
The consultants hired to help Southern Pines revise its Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) hope for a higher turnout this week during the second of four three-day forums.
“We definitely want more people to participate,” said Bruce Peshoff, a principal at Planning Works, the Kansas-based company that is facilitating the yearlong revision process.
Despite a low turnout during the initial forum in January, Peshoff was pleased with the number of constructive ideas that came out of it.
“Those that have participated in the process so far have provided good, specific comments and suggestions,” he said. “I think we’ve got some clear direction on a number of issues. This workshop is going to focus on summarizing everything and making sure we’re all going in the same direction.”
The UDO, which has been amended countless times, but not revised since its inception in 1989, controls all design and land-use regulations for the town. The revision will streamline and update the existing code in addition to ensuring its compliance with, and ability to implement the goals of, the Comprehensive Long-Range Plan (CLRP) adopted by the town in 2010.
In addition to the revision, Planning Works will draft regulating plans for downtown Southern Pines and West Southern Pines.
Southern Pines Town Council member Mike Fields said he looks forward to moving toward providing a “streamlined, readable document.”
“We need a UDO where the definitions are clearly stated,” Fields says. “That’s something we’ve got to get under control, so when a builder comes in to start the permitting process they have a clear understanding of what the town expects.
“There should be no misunderstanding or second-guessing. It should be clearly defined in the code.”
The next round of public and private meetings with stakeholders begins Monday. A public workshop will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the community room at the town’s police department.
“We’ll summarize and seek input on preliminary issues and recommendations — from forum one — and summarize preliminary process and procedure direction,” Peshoff said.
There are two neighborhood planning sessions scheduled on Tuesday in the community room — downtown from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and West Southern Pines from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
“Both sessions will focus on the issues, recommendations and the specific process and procedure aspects relative to the respective neighborhoods,” Peshoff said.
There will also be a “brown bag” lunch Tuesday in the community room from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
In the meantime, Peshoff noted that interested parties can visit the revision website — www.southernpinesudo.org — for updates. The website also includes community surveys, among other things.
In between the forums, Planning Works intends to conduct other public meetings, provide a monthly progress and status report, conduct regular teleconferences with town staff, and maintain the website.
Contact Ted M. Natt Jr. at email@example.com.
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