Decision on Pinehurst South development plan pushed to next meeting by council

Council approves reappropriation of FY22 funds

PINEHURST — The Village of Pinehurst Council met Tuesday, August 9, where they further discussed the Pinehurst South Small Area Plan and approved the reappropriation of funds from FY22 to the current year.

After being tabled again at last month’s meeting, the Pinehurst Council continued the discussion of the Pinehurst South small area development plan.

“I think the major emphasis right now with Pinehurst South is commercial versus residential and non-residential development and what kind of a community we see there being or not being,” said Mayor John Strickland. “Is the property west of Highway 5 going to be different than the property east of Highway 5? Those, I think, are the key concerns the council has had over the last couple of meetings.”

The majority of discussion from the council focused on the confusion around the definitions for “non-residential” as it relates to the plans and how to best try and control the impact of traffic from the development.

The plan has areas labeled non-residential, but the assumption from the zoning and planning board, according to Planning and Inspections Director Darryn Burich, was that could mean multi-use developments such as retail on the ground level with multi-family apartments above them.

This confused some council members and was one reason for the council to postpone the final decision to get further clarity.

The other area of concern from the council was the impact of traffic on the site if it is developed as multi-use.

“My first thought about Pinehurst South is that we should be designing it to the capacity of the infrastructure and Route 5, as I understand it, is pretty much already full,” said council member Jane Hogeman. “It’s got 20,000 vehicle trips per day, from what I remember from the traffic study, and the high and low plans, as depicted, would add between 32 and 36% increase in the amount of traffic, so that’s not really viable.”

The council admitted that they could not stop the incoming development into the area but wanted to try and figure out a way to best control the impact of traffic.

“We have this competition between the traffic on Highway 5, which we don’t like and are trying to do something to correct or amend or alleviate, and we have the issue of density,” Strickland said. “And the two things are kind of at odds with each other, because arguably, if you have density, in terms of residential homes, that is going to cause less traffic on Highway 5 day to day than something that is commercial, which is going to bring trips back and forth from whatever commercial businesses, retail businesses that might be in the area. This is the yin and the yang of where we are. How do we balance our desire to watch our density in a way that doesn’t create extra volume to Highway 5? Some of this we can control, a lot of it we can’t, but we can plan accordingly.”

Following discussion, the council postponed the decision to next month’s meeting in September. 

The Village Council approved a budget amendment to reappropriate funds from FY22 to FY23, which is a routine agenda item that is brought forth every year for council approval.

The reappropriated funds come from projects that were started but not completed as of June 30, projects that were not started at all, and unspent donated funds that have various restrictions and total out to $1,437,173, according to Financial Services Director Brooke Hunter.

“All of the appropriations for these items lapse and add to the fund balance at the end of the fiscal year,” Hunter said. “So, this amendment essentially goes into the fund balance and pulls the appropriations back out of the fund balance and reappropriates them for the current year so they can be used as they were originally intended.”

The Village of Pinehurst Council will next meet September 13.

By Ryan Henkel, North State Journal

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