Pinehurst Council hears proposed amendments to PDO for short-term rental regulations

Pinehurst South Small Area plan approved

PINEHURST — The Village of Pinehurst Council met Tuesday, September 27, with a public hearing on the agenda to hear the proposed amendments to the Pinehurst Development Ordinance in relation to regulating short-term rentals.

The council held a public hearing to listen to proposed amendments to the PDO to establish regulations for Short Term Rentals as well as hear public feedback on them.

“Concerns surrounding an unregulated land-use, short-term rentals, and its impacts on the single-family neighborhood’s quality of life have been expressed over the past several months to the council,” said Planning and Inspections Director Darryn Burich. “Responding to these concerns, the council initiated policy changes to address the concerns over single-family residential neighborhood’s quality of life. They started with municipal code amendments, which addressed such things as overnight parking and unruly gatherings. Then we started drafting PDO amendments with staff which is the subject of this public hearing.”

Recommendations from the Planning and Zoning Board include allowing STRs in Single Family Zoned Districts as well as Neighborhood/Commercial, Office/Professional, Village Cottage Professional, and Village Residential districts, the creation of development standards for STRs, and the requirement for the posting of owner’s contacts and rules within STR units.

According to Burich, “there are also proposed amendments to sections of the PDO. The changes are to Section 4, Public Hearings, Permits, and Approvals, to establish a permit revocation process not just for STR permits but for any permit that’s been issued; Section 8.5 Table of Permitted and Special Uses and Special Requirements to establish the districts where the STRs may be permitted; Section 8.6 Special Requirements to the Table of Permitted and Special Uses and Special Requirements for the creation of SR-9 Short-Term Rental, which are the development standards that would be in place for all short-term rentals, including things such as special development requirements that apply to STRs where permitted by right, requiring a Development Permit for existing and new STRs and providing provisions for revocation, amortizing in certain districts, and requiring STRs that are nonconforming, to come into compliance or cease operations by a certain date; and Section 10.2 Definitions which defines short-term rentals and homestays so they may be regulated by the PDO as defined.”

The new proposed amendment would define a short-term rental as “a whole house lodging occupancy where a dwelling unit is offered or made available by short-term lease or other financial consideration for a time period or lease term of less than 30 consecutive days for a cumulative total of more than 14 days in any calendar year.”

While no action was taken at the meeting, the ground is set for the council to make a decision.

“The Village Council will not be taking a decision on this regulation tonight,” said Mayor John Strickland. “We’re going to hear your comments, listen to the staff report, talk amongst ourselves, but we will not be making a final decision tonight. My expectation, however, is that a decision will be made in the month of October.”

The council also held a public hearing for a 120-day moratorium extension for Small Area Plans areas.

“The purpose is to extend the moratorium currently in place in the two Small Area Plan areas of Village Place and Pinehurst South,” Burich said. “The ordinance proposes to extend the moratorium an additional 120 days to expire in February 2023.”

The original moratorium was adopted on February 10, 2021, and had been extended two times prior, with the intent to allow for Small Area Plans for Village Place and Pinehurst South to be developed and approved.

“We’ve had several setbacks along the way,” Burich said. “It hasn’t just been the council not making a decision on certain aspects. We’ve had some issues with not being able to move forward just because we’ve had a lack of staffing capacity within the department, but we’ve always been moving forward on some aspect of the plan. We’ve just never been able to start working on the Pinehurst South plan because we haven’t had a final approval of that plan to allow us to move forward.”

Following the hearing, the council voted to approve the extension, 3-2, with council members Jeff Morgan and Lydia Boesch voting against the extension due to how long the projects have dragged on.

However, to alleviate that, the council finally reached unanimous approval to move forward with the Pinehurst South Small Area Plan, which will allow the Planning and Zoning Board to start finalizing codes and plans.

The council then approved an easement request by Duke Energy in order to run power across Chicken Plant Road.

“This is a request to extend the utility line from an existing line that is on our West Pinehurst Community Park property to go across the road to serve a residential development,” said Village Manager Jeff Sanborn.

The council also approved the sale of a 2002 KME Predator fire engine since the estimated profit would exceed the $10,000 threshold, which requires prior council approval.

The council then approved a $216,200 budget amendment in order to enhance an NCDOT traffic improvement project involving traffic signals at two intersections on Hwy 15-501 from standard wood poles and crosswire to green metal posts and mast arms to better fit the Village’s aesthetic. 

The council also approved a $1,352,951 FY23 resurfacing contract with Fred Smith Company to resurface approximately four miles of roadway. Along with the approval of the contract, the council also approved a $172,875 budget amendment to cover the costs of the contract since it came out higher than anticipated, according to Sanborn.

Finally, the council accepted the dedication of Winged Foot Road and the associated right-of-way in Villas at Forest Hills from the developer Windjam 7.

The Pinehurst Village Council will next meet October 11.

By North State Journal Staff

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