The Southern Pines Town Council held their May working meeting at 6:00 PM on Monday, May 28 at the Community Room in the Southern Pines Police Station. The Southern Pines Planning Board was in attendance to hear the presentation by Kelly Miller and Fred Hobbs regarding the Pine Needles development concept for its next phase.
Also, Fred Hobbs gave a presentation regarding the status of the resevoir which is nearly ready to begin filling.
There were a couple of discussions of other development proposals which were non-controversial, and finally, the Town Manager presented a budget update report.
The only disturbing aspect of the discussions occurred during the portion of the meeting regarding Pine Needles. It seems there is some pressure from the downtown business community of Southern Pines not to permit retail/commercial development in the multi-use Pine Needles community. The concern of the downtown businesses is that competition will draw business away from downtown and Broad Street. The purpose of government is not to control competition to protect one business at the cost of its competitors. This is "crony capitalism", where certain favored businesses collude with the government to regulate and control their competition out of business. That is an illegitimate "function" of government. The Town Council must resist such political pressures -- I know that can be difficult -- but the Council must resist and must handle development permitting in accordance with the law.