The consultant for the Town of Southern Pines, Planning Works, conducted a public hearing in the early evening of Monday, March 5, 2012. There was some confusion about the start time of the meeting. Some public notices stated that the meeting would begin at 6:00 P.M. Others stated the start time as 5:30 P.M. So, since a few people showed up at 5:30, the consultants "started an early conversation" with them to hear their input.
Two of these were elderly ladies who wanted to oppose any new development in downtown Southern Pines. They want to "preserve" the town just as it is. The other gentleman was disgruntled about a number of things having to do with the way the Town Council handles applications.
The remainder of the meeting was mostly a one-way presentation by the consultants to "inform" those present how the consultant will approach drafting the new UDO. General information only about the subject. Nothing controversial.
The consultant involved audience members in three vignettes which portrayed cases where other towns/counties had failed to propery hear and handle development requests. Other than being humorous, these were more of a Delphi technique to make the audience "feel involved" and to accept the consultant's plans as "their own".
Nevertheless, I heard nothing to be alarmed about yet in the process. The "proof" will come when the public is given the first draft of the new UDO for review.