The Town Council of Southern Pine, NC, met in the Community Room of the Southern Pines Police Station on Pennsylvania Avenue at 3:00 PM on Monday, February 27, 2012.

The Council first heard from the new School System Superintendent, Aaron Spence, who gave a rambling speech that said little. The Council welcomed him.

Next, the Council heard a couple of zoning/development cases with the developers of new residential properties. The first has been, in my opinion, wronged by the Town. He has planned a "Single-Family-Attached" small development of 12 units. "Single-Family-Attached" is allowed under the Town's zoning and development ordinances in an areas zoned Residential. So, the developer was following the rule of law. However, the Planning Board intervened and questioned whether the "definition" of "Single-Family-Attached" duplicated certain "Multi-Family" uses. Consequentially, the developer was sent off to request a re-zoning to Residential-Multifamily 2" with no guarantee of success. This is an injustice, and the Town disregarded its own ordinances and acted, in my view, illegally.

Next, the Council moved on to a report with recommendations from the "Bike/Pedestrian Advisory Committee". The Committee presented a "half-baked" request for a "trial/test/demonstration" of modified back-in parking on a section of Broad Street near the Amtrak Station. In spite of the fact that prior proposals of this nature have met with opposition from the merchants and residents, the Council decided to "support" a "trial/test". But they sent the Committee back to talk with the affected merchants (whom the Committee had not even approached prior to making the request), to plan out how the "trial" would be conducted and how feedback would be collected, and what the success/failure criteria would be. This entire matter is a waste of Town funds. Any of the "trial" options presented by the Committee would not prove feasibility on other portions of Broad Street, and the benefits of any such parking are, at best, debatable. The Council should have the courage to stifle this wasteful initiative.

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