The April 2 Southern Pines UDO public meeting was held at the Community Room on Pennsylvania Avenue at 2:00 PM. It focused on the "design" aspects for the West Southern Pines area. A "design team" from the UDO consultant, PlanningWorks, interacted with residents primarily of the West Southern Pines community to gather input on design preferences for their area.

The idea is that these design "ideas" will be incorporated into two documents. The first will provide design and re-development recommendations for the Town Council and its boards and commissions to implement over the coming years as funds are available. These design concepts will also then be encoded into the new Unified Development Ordinance so that as the developments and design concepts are implemented, the UDO will be "compatible" with the desired "design".

There are also similar meetings for the downtown area of Southern Pines. I cannot go to all the meetings, so I simply video the ones that my schedule allows me to attend.

The attendance from the Southern Pines residents/electorate is extremely disappointing. Only a handful of people attend. What the residents and taxpayers of Southern Pines do not seem to realize is that these handful of people are greatly driving and impacting how everyone will live -- what laws will govern you and your property, how much control and intrusion will be encoded into new ordinances, how your tax monies will be spent, how development and prosperity will be impacted, and, thus, how you live.

The ones who typically come to these meetings are the "activists" who have an agenda -- and the normal residents and taxpayers may not like that agenda if and when they understand it. People can ignore these meetings and proceedings at not only their own risk, but the risk of us all -- every one of us.

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