Southern Pines to look into implementing subscription-based recycling services

S. Bennett Street development decision delayed once again

SOUTHERN PINES – The Southern Pines Town Council met Tuesday, August 8, with an agenda full of public hearings and action items. 

To begin the meeting, the council first held four public hearings, the first of which was to decide on a new approach for garbage and recycling services. 

“This project actually started over a year ago,” said assistant town manager Mike Cameron. “We hired Davenport Lawrence back in January. We’ve done a contract extension to get us through December 31 of 2024 with GFL to continue solid waste and recycling services.” 

The council was presented with four options that involved either no recycling, select recycling with an upcharge, no change to the current format or the current format but with larger recycling bins provided to every resident. 

“All four options that we are considering are cheaper than our current option,” said council member Ann Petersen. “And the risk has shifted. So, regardless of which option we choose, it’s a five-year contract and the risk stays on the provider and not the town.” 

Following the hearing, the council chose option number two. 

“Option 2 is a tiered recycling type system where those that want to recycle would have the opportunity to at a cost that would be specific to them,” Cameron said. 

The second hearing was for an annexation request to incorporate 403.62 acres of property located between Camp Easter Road and US Highway 1 into the corporate limits of the town. 

Following the hearing, the council approved the request. 

The third hearing was for a text amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance related to canopy lighting for service stations. 

“Currently, the UDO reads that the average lighting level for new and existing service stations shall be no greater than three lumens per square foot under the canopy,” said Planning Director B.J. Grieve. “All lighting shall be recessed to ensure that no light source is visible from or causes glare on public right-of-ways or adjacent properties. The request is to change it from three to 12.” 

“Many years ago, the Town of Southern Pines decided that the Town was going to adopt a lighting ordinance,” Grieve said. “Lighting ordinances serve the purpose of restricting lighting by coming up with a measurement of that light. The general purpose of this section is to promote public health, safety and welfare, the quality of life, the ability to view the night sky and ongoing operations on Fort Bragg by establishing regulations for the process of review of exterior lighting. These provisions establish provision for exterior lighting too.” 

Following the hearing, the council approved the request, but with the change of a maximum allowance of 15 lumens per square foot below the canopy after new information was made available to town staff through the Illuminating Engineering Society’s recommended standards. 

The fourth hearing was for another text amendment to the UDO, with this one aiming to remove self-storages as a by-right land use in General Business zoning districts. 

Following the hearing, the council also approved the request. 

The council then approved a Watershed Protection permit request in order for the applicant to develop a single-family residence and detached garage on 0.12 acres of property within the Little River Intake No. 2 Watershed. 

The council also approved a resolution setting the town’s intent to convey 7.73 acres of property located on the corner of Henly Road and Morganton Road to the YMCA of the Sandhills. 

The resolution allows the town to properly advertise the conveyance and also establishes a public hearing on September 12.  

Finally, the council again continued a decision on the conceptual development plan for 0.786 acres of property located on the West Side of S. Bennett Street between New York Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue.  

The item had been previously continued after last month’s meeting for the council to have time to think about a final decision, but after the applicant brought forth a request for additional changes related to parking, the council decided that they needed the CDP to go through the public hearing process again due to that. 

The Southern Pines Town Council will next meet September 12. 

By Ryan Henkel

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