SOUTHERN PINES — The Southern Pines Town Council met Tuesday, November 15, where they granted a zoning exemption for an existing mural and clarified sections of its UDO.
The first action that the council took was to approve a zoning exemption for public art at 1012 N. May St.
“The mural in tonight’s request is titled ‘Ode to the Pines,’” said Director of the Arts Council of Moore County Chris Dunn. “It depicts two scenes in Southern Pines. One is the downtown train depot, and the other one is a fox hunting scene. It was created by the Pinecrest High School art club, which is open to any student interested in art. The art club began painting this mural prior to the pandemic, and it was completed two years later this past August.”
The initial problem, according to Planning Director B.J. Grieve, stems from the definition of a sign in the UDO, which ends up including murals.
“In our Unified Development Ordinance, a sign is defined very broadly as ‘any device, depiction, lettering, or symbol that is sufficiently visible to persons not located on the lot, where it is located to either attract the attention of such persons or communicate information to them,’” Grieve said.
The UDO is worded in this way in order to eliminate that issue of subjectivity between what is art and what is an advertisement, but specifically includes a provision for granting a zoning exemption by referring designs to the Arts Council of Moore County, a private, non-profit, to work along the lines of their mural program to help satisfy standards of non-advertising and appropriateness.
“The mural property owner contacted the Arts Council of Moore County, and they’ve decided to submit to sponsor this mural because of the history.”
The council also approved text amendments to the UDO in order to clarify build height constraints and grant exemptions to existing structures for post-development runoff rate requirements.
The council then held a quasi-judicial hearing to review the planned development plan for the Knollwood Tract Phase 2 project.
“This is a multi-family development portion that’s part of the Knollwood Tract CDP that was approved in 2012 and then amended in 2017,” said Principal Planner Pam Graham. “That CDP called for a total acreage of 558.04. A wide range of allowable uses came about as some of the amendments in 2017. There’s a very broad range of uses that were approved by the CDP. Also, the total open space of 100.11 acres, with 55.8 of those being usable open space acreage.”
“Specific components of the CDP approval included four types of project-edge standards: interconnective circulation for vehicular and non-vehicular travel, a prohibition of new wells within the development, appropriate measurements to mitigate noise and lighting impacts to be included with each PDP application submittal, and the property is zoned Planned Development.”
Following the hearing, the council approved the PDP.
The council then approved two architectural reviews, with the first being for the LKC Building at 390 W. Pennsylvania Ave.
“This was the Spectrum building on Pennsylvania Avenue, and this is the improvement to the Spectrum building,” said Mayor Carol Haney. “It will now be a two-story headquarters for LKC.”
The second architectural review was for the Morganton Park North Apartments.
“If you recall, there were three standards that I was recommending be complied with before this was approved,” Graham said. “One of those is projections of at least five feet at least once every 50 feet along the side. They have made adjustments on all of the floors of the buildings now to meet this requirement, so there is no deviation to approve. The second one, which had to do with the dimensions of balconies, was that we had some balconies that did not meet the six-foot depth. And they made some adjustments, and now they all do now meet the six-foot, and they all exceed the 10-foot in length requirement.”
The council also approved an ordinance to amend the FY 22-23 budget for the W. New Hampshire Tree Replacement Project.
“This is on the appearance commission proposed project for the replacement of those trees on New Hampshire Avenue and also in the parking lot there by The Jefferson and Neville’s,” said Town Manager Reagan Parsons.
There was also a second matching ordinance to amend the FY 22-23 Budget for the E. New Hampshire Tree Replacement Right-of-Way Project.
“This is a smaller project on the opposite side of the tracks,” Parsons said. “This is the area that’s in front of what was one of the original fire stations here in Southern Pines, where a number of years back, the town had gone in and removed what was originally a drive to that fire station. Later, the sidewalk went through there, and we had a problem with people parking in the old drive and blocking the sidewalk. Without this project, we’ll simply continue to go back and weed eat once a year, but it was really just to clean up what got left behind when there was an effort to clear up the drive.”
The Southern Pines Town Council will next meet December 13.