Subterranean parking structure approved for Pinehurst resort

Pinehurst Council makes amendment to facilitate World Golf Hall of Fame relocation

PINEHURST — The Village of Pinehurst Council met Tuesday, July 26, where the council held public hearings for a potential parking structure at Pinehurst Resorts and an amendment to the USGA Economic Development Incentive Agreement.

The council held a public hearing for a Zoning Map Amendment request from Resorts of Pinehurst, Inc. for 6.87 acres of land to rezone from Recreation Development District to Hotel Conditional District to allow for the development of a two-level, partially subterranean parking structure. The request also looks to preserve uses associated with the previous RD conditional zoning on the acreage for the Lodge at Pinehurst Resorts.

“We are asking to expand the Hotel Conditional District area from the site to this location specifically because parking structures are not permitted in the Recreational Development zoning classification and district,” said KOONTZ JONES Design Principal Bob Koontz.

According to Koontz, the parking structure design is partially subterranean and will include landscaping and brick parapet walls to shield the view of the structure from the Resort and Highway. The parking structure will also provide a net gain of 123 parking spaces.

“In total, we’ll have invested over $10 million in parking in less than two years,” said President of Pinehurst Resort and Country Club Tom Pashley. “We are proud and excited about the progress that’s being made and look forward to the opportunities ahead of us in the future.”

The reason for the second part of the request is that future development has not yet been determined on the placement and footprint of facilities such as locker rooms, bars, or lodging, and the applicants wish to maintain some flexibility with that. 

“Our current thinking is to reconceive that space as multiple smaller structures that combine to produce several attractive courtyards,” Pashley said. “We have very preliminary concepts that we’re prepared to share with you. However, we need more time to develop our plans.”

Following the hearing, the council approved the rezoning requests and the request to preserve uses associated with the previous conditional zoning with conditions on the limit of allowable changes to impervious surfaces.

The council also approved a minor language change to the USGA Economic Development Incentive Agreement to accommodate the desire to house the World Golf Hall of Fame in one of the buildings they intend to construct, following a public hearing.

The USGA plans to relocate portions of its operations, including a golf equipment research and test center, museum, and visitor center, and select offices to “two buildings in a campus-like setting,” located in the Village of Pinehurst.

“From a staff perspective, the language change probably wasn’t required for what they intend to do with the World Golf Hall of Fame,” said Village Manager Jeff Sanborn. “It was very much in compliance with the original agreement, but out of an abundance of caution, we’ve been asked to make this change, and we are more than happy to do that.”

The council then decided to wait and revisit the Pinehurst South Small Area Plan later due to problems found with the plan, such as unclear classifications of what are residential areas and what are non-residential areas, projected traffic impacts, and projected fiscal impacts and sustainability.

“With all these variables, I, for one, am not ready to make any approval of this plan tonight because I see there are many more issues here at work than even we were thinking about,” said Mayor John Strickland.

The Village of Pinehurst Council will next meet August 9.

By Ryan Henkel, North State Journal

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