Pinehurst council approves form-based guidance plan for small area plans

Resolution passes to support DOTs plan to install additional stop lights on 15-501

PINEHURST — The Village of Pinehurst Council met Tuesday, May 9, with a public hearing and a several ordinances on the agenda.

The council held a public hearing for a resolution adopting the Village Place and Pinehurst South Small Area Plans and Form-Based Guidance Plans.

“We’ve been working on these projects for quite some time, as everybody’s aware,” said Village Manager Jeff Sanborn. “There have really been three products that have been under development, and some are further along than others. But we started with the small area plans for both of these two small areas, and then we started working on a form-based guidance plan, and the third is the implementation language that would be incorporated into our development ordinance. That piece of the puzzle is still being worked on by the planning and zoning board and is pretty close to being finished.”

The two small area plans have previously already been approved by the council, and so the purpose of the hearing was to hear comments on those plans and the overall guidance plan.

The Form-Based Guidance Plan will act as a sort of development ordinance and will include a regulating plan for building type and heights, lot dimensions, street design, landscape design, architectural design and sign design.

Following the hearing, the council approved the resolution adopting the Village Place and Pinehurst South Small Area Plans and Form-Based Guidance Plans.

The council then approved an ordinance amending the FY23 budget for library and archives building capital improvements.

“In the FY23 budget ordinance, $1 million was appropriated for initial building improvements for the library and archives,” said Financial Services Director Dana Van Nostrand. “Based on the needs assessment and the other work that has begun for the library, none of that money has been spent yet, and any of the work that was intended to be done in terms of improvements with that $1 million will be part of the work that is going to be done under the Library Expansion Capital Project Fund. Since it won’t be expended within the FY23 appropriation, we want to still utilize that $1 million towards the library by transferring it to the Library Expansion Capital Project Fund.”

Finally, the council passed a resolution supporting the NCDOT’s plan to install stoplights at the intersections of Highway 15-501 and Spring Lake Drive and Highway 15-501 and Spring Lake Road.

“These two stoplights are intended to enhance safety,” said Assistant Village Manager for Operations Jeff Batton. “First off, they will be synced to allow traffic to free flow through there as best they can. There is a similar pair of lights like this further north on 15-501 around Highway 73. They’ll also have the lane sensors embedded at the stop bars, as you’ve seen at most other stoplights so that traffic lights will get tripped for changeover when cars are approaching Spring Lake Road and Drive. I know during rush hour, both of these two can be pretty challenging getting in and out.”

The new light poles will be wooden, with crosswires holding up the lights, which the council usually tries to upfit to match the aesthetic of the rest of the Village. However, due to potential changes coming on Highway 15-501, the council elected to keep the DOT’s choice.

“Traditionally, we’ve taken the opportunity whenever a stoplight was going to be installed in the Village to upgrade and enhance those to the metal poles and cross arms,” Batton said. “The reason we are not recommending we do that at this point in time with these two intersections is because this is intended, in the grand scheme of the timeline, to be a temporary situation. In the next five to seven years, DOT will be widening 15-501, and these intersections will be potentially reconfigured or redesigned. They may not need stoplights at all, or they may be realigned so one single stoplight is what is needed. You’ll also have four lanes instead of two, so whatever is going in now will ultimately be removed, even if it remains in a two-stoplight configuration.”

The Village of Pinehurst Council will next

By Ryan Henkel, North State Journal

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