Village Opts Not to Conduct Report on Landmark Status
The Pinehurst Village Council has chosen not to conduct a controversial report to study the village’s status as a National Historic Landmark, opting instead to proceed with some key downtown improvement projects.
The council said during its Tuesday work session it wanted to continue to document work on proposed projects and work closely with the National Park Service, which bestowed the historic designation in 1996. However, officials are going to forgo creating a cultural landscape report, which had been suggested by the National Park Service.
“I think it is in the best interest of the community that we can’t afford to wait to do a cultural landscape report,” council member John Cashion said.
Council members cited the proposed report’s cost — about $120,000 — and timing issues as reasons to move forward without it. The council wants the improvements done in time for 2014 when it hosts back-to-back U.S. Opens.
Mayor Nancy Roy Fiorillo said she and the other council members value the landmark designation but have other considerations.
“If we had the luxury of money and time, we could do a cultural landscape report,” she said. “Unless we move forward, we start bouncing into the time frame we have to put our best foot forward in 2014.”
John Strickland said he wanted to move ahead but also work to improve relationships with historic preservation officials at the state and national levels.
“We need not ignore the Park Service,” Strickland said.
He proposed using local expertise as a primary way to help document the work that would be done and then send that information to the Park Service.
Pinehurst is designated a National Historic Landmark. Officials at the Park Service, which oversees the status, have expressed concern that the proposed changes could harm the status or cause enough change that it would end up requiring the status to be taken away.
Proposed improvements to the area include enhancements to the sand parking lot and streetscaping in downtown.
A prioritized list of those projects, costs and a time frame for completion is expected to be presented at the council’s April 10 meeting.
In other business, the council received a report on short-term parking in the village, not including future proposed improvements. Among the recommendations:
Improve signage to encourage visitors to utilize the sandlot and direct the public to other lots
Remove the island in the sandlot and grading or dragging the lot more frequently
Lease additional spaces at the Maples Building and the Holly Inn as employee and overflow public parking.
The group also recommended designated parking lots for employees based on the location of their business. As a last resort, they proposed regulated parking restrictions, including a 90-minute limit in the Department Store lot, a three-hour limit on spaces along Market Square, Chinquapin Road, the library area and the post office and theater buildings.
The council received information on possible business recruitment incentives the village could offer to existing and new businesses. Four of the primary options discussed are facade grant programs, revolving loans, rental or business assistance, and signage grants or interior rehabilitation grants.
The council also discussed and unanimously approved the 2013-2017 Capital Improvement Plan.
Contact Tom Embrey at firstname.lastname@example.org
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