Oct 12

Southern Pines tract to remain undeveloped

Those 558 acres on the edge of Souithern Pines will remain undeveloped until the town ocuncil makes up its mind whether rezoning of The Knollwood Tract makes sense. That question remains unanswered after a public hearing this week. The Bell Family, who own the property, have struggled for years to get the green light for a planned-unit development to include office and commercial space, single-family ohusing and assisted-living units, a hotel and a golf course. So far the concept has the support of The Southern Pines Planning Board and Town Manager Reagan Parsons, who calls it a "win win" for the landowners and the community." One estimate calculates the economic impact at five-hundred-million dollars. The town council decided Tuesday to delay a decision on rezoning until council members have a chance to deliberate privately, then submit any questions they might have to Town Manager Parsons who will ask the Bell Family for annswers. The council will revisit the zoinng request at its monthly work session on the 22nd. Nevertheless, Borad Street Business Owners are understandably nervous about the impact such a large-scale commercial developmenmt would have on Broad Street. One of them, Jeffery Sheer, revived tlak of a petition signed by 52 downtown business owners asking for a comprehensive study to the project's im[act on the community and itis economic interests. Many people, he observed, take downtown for granted. Sheer adivsed against "killing the goose that laid the golden egg.
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