TEASER Southern Pines Town Emblem

(Photograph by Jaymie Baxley/The Pilot)

Each year the Southern Pines Veterans Day Parade, which bills itself as Moore County’s largest parade, is one of several special events and concerts held across the region to honor and support our troops and military veterans.

On Tuesday, town leaders will consider a proposed ordinance change to allow alcohol sales and consumption in the Downtown Park during permitted outdoor special events, such as the annual Vets Parade.

The amendment request was initially presented to the Town Council in August. Local business owners Heath Trigg, of Heritage Flag Co.; Aaron Cooper, of Cooper Ford and Cooper Auto Choice; and Rachel Turacoma of Cox’s Double Eagle Harley-Davidson are planning a combined event to honor veterans. They told town leaders that the question of alcohol in Downtown Park had been raised.

“Last year all three of us threw a Veterans Day event and we all saw some successes. We decided we wanted to collaborate this year,” said Trigg.

He noted that organized events in the community often include alcohol sales and that Aberdeen, Carthage and Pinehurst have all modified their regulations, specifically as applied to permitted special events.

Recreation and Parks Director Robert Reeve said the town does not co-sponsor any events that include alcohol. The popular First Friday concerts at the First Bank Stage at Sunrise Theater and Second Saturday events, held on Bennett Street outside of Trigg’s Heritage Flag Co. flagship store are privately organized.

Councilman Jim Simeon said he didn’t want to do anything that would overtax the police department.

Southern Pines Police Chief Bob Temme responded that his department could handle “whatever you throw at us.”

During the initial discussion in August, council members agreed to limit the ordinance change to Downtown Park. Alcohol is still banned at all times at the town’s other parks, including Reservoir Park, Pool Park and Memorial Park.

“I like Downtown Park being the testing ground,” said Councilwoman Carol Haney. “Let’s walk before we run.”

Councilman Paul Murphy agreed, “It is better to try it out and see how it goes.”

In September, planning staff provided a draft version of the amendment that town leaders are expected to formally consider on Tuesday. As written, it restricts alcohol sales and consumption to Outdoor Special Event (OSE) permits in the central business district and/or within the Downtown Park.

Also on Tuesday, the Town Council will conduct a public hearing to consider a 114-lot preliminary development plan for The Carolina subdivision located near the Moore County Airport.

The Carolina was originally permitted by Southern Pines, in 1999, as a master-planned community for up to 495 homes and 96 assisted living units. But over the ensuing years, the community attracted limited interest from buyers and builders.

In 2013, the sparsely developed property was purchased from bankruptcy proceedings by Caropine Ventures, LLC, which then later added the community’s defunct golf course property in 2017.

After a contentious rezoning process in 2018, town leaders inked a compromise for a 550-home modified plan that was acceptable to the developer and a small but actively engaged group of existing homeowners.

Contact Laura Douglass at (910) 693-2474 or email laura@thepilot.com

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