Debates on short-term rentals continue in Pinehurst

Board to transfer funds for fire engine repair

PINEHURST –– The Village of Pinehurst Council met Tuesday with the ongoing debate on short-term rentals continuing to dominate the discussion.

At the last meeting, the council proposed a series of goals for future policies to address concerns residents had with short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods. Village staff are still working on drafting the policies to be put forth before the council for a vote, but they should be ready by the next meeting.

“We will be presenting policy options that we think strike an appropriate balance between property owners’ rights and preservation of neighborhood character,” said Village Manager Jeff Sanborn. “Those policy options will fall in three general categories. One would be changes to our municipal codes. Things like nuisance ordinances and on-street parking requirements. The second would be general zoning changes that more or less apply to all residential properties, and third would be zoning changes and permit requirements tied to our zone authority that would apply exclusively to short-term properties.”

The council took public comments, with the majority of them being comments regarding the rental debate. The council heard from several short-term rental managers who spoke in favor of policy goals to help the industry and provided statistics on the positive economic impact of short-term rentals on the local economy.

On the action agenda, the council approved the transfer of $52,000 in funds from the Streets and Grounds infrastructure budget to the Fleet Maintenance Vehicle and Repair budget to cover the cost of replacing an engine on one of its fire trucks.

“The Streets and Grounds infrastructure account currently has available funds for our sidewalk and walkways construction for this fiscal year,” said Financial Services Director Brooke Hunter. “That funding amount was only an estimate. It was a placeholder, so all of those funds may not be needed for the projects that were presented to you earlier at a previous meeting.”

The council also amended a prior contract with the Given Memorial Library Inc. The prior agreement had been for the Village to take on the lease for the Old Post Office Building, but due to unforeseen circumstances, the amendment will see Given Memorial Library Inc. hold onto the lease with the Village reimbursing them for it instead.

The council will next meet on March 22 where they will likely be ready to vote on proposed policies regarding short-term rentals.

 

 

 

By Ryan Henkel

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