Historic Commission to Take Up Village Plan
By Tom Embrey
The Pinehurst Historic Preservation Commission on Thursday is expected to decide whether to approve or appeal improvements planned for the downtown parking lot and the Village Green.
The commission is scheduled to meet with its attorney privately at 3 p.m. to discuss the matter. Its regular meeting will follow at 4 p.m. in the conference room at Village Hall.
"My understanding is the intent is to decide at that meeting what to do," said Village Manager Andy Wilkison.
Earlier this month, the village Board of Adjustment issued a ruling stating the commission's prior rejection of the improvements had been improper.
The commission has two options now: comply with that decision or appeal it in court.
The proposed improvement projects downtown would shift the sand parking lot slightly into the existing green and then open up the green in the area near the Given Memorial Library and Tufts Archives.
The Board of Adjust-ment's ruling indicates that the commission's decision was erroneous and unlawful for the following reasons:
n The commission applied an erroneous standard and geographical area in ruling on whether the project was "incongruous with the special character" of the Historic Preserva-tion Overlay District under N.C. general statutes.
n The denial was not based on substantial competent evidence in view of the entire record.
n The commission's findings of fact were not based on substantial competent evidence in view of the entire record.
n The commission's findings of fact did not support a conclusion that project approval should be denied.
n The commission's decision was inconsistent with applicable procedures set out in the law.
n The commission's decision was arbitrary and capricious.
The village-proposed improvement project has been in limbo since the commission rejected it June 29 on a 4-2 vote. Opposition centered around concerns about the project's size and scale and the number of trees to be removed.
The Village Council then appealed that ruling to the Board of Adjustment, which has purview over such matters.
Village Council members have said they want to complete the planned improvements to the downtown in advance of June 2014, when Pinehurst hosts the U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open in back-to-back weeks.
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or tembrey @thepilot.com.-
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