The Southern Pines Historic District Commission held their June meeting beginning at 4:00 PM on June 14 in the Boyd Room on Broad Street. The Commission first considered the request by the Southern Pines Business Association for a motion to approve the concept of placing a kiosk at the Train Station in downtown Southern Pines. This same request was heard and the concept was approved by the Southern Pines Appearance Commission on June 12. The Historic Commission approved the concept.
Next, the Commission heard from the Town Staff regarding an upcoming request from a downtown business to paint the exterior of their building. From there the Commission moved into an extended discussion of the respondents to the Commission's Request for Proposal to develop new guidelines for architectural and landscaping standards for properties under the purview of the Commission. The Commission identified the selected "top two" respondents, and the Town Staff agreed to set up an interview meeting with these firms in late June. The Commission is going to spend $40,000 of our tax dollars on these "guidelines".
It is interesting to watch and hear some comments by certain of the Commission members regarding the need for public input. Some of the Commission members expressed the opinion that the Commission does not "need" nor "want" the input of residents and businesses. They felt that the consultant should document what the Commission knows is best and needed for the businesses and residents over which they rule. What arrogance!
Finally, the Commission discussed the status of negotiations with the Weymouth Board about placing that property under the "protection" of the Commission. Because the Weymouth Center is already expending thousands of dollars of taxpayer funds to "study" the history of the grounds and thus determine the proper "historic" landscaping of the property, the Commission decided to focus only on the buildings -- the architectural aspects -- for their "landmark designation". Listen to their views of how critical it is to afford the Weymouth Center "an extra layer of protection" by placing it under Historic District Commission oversight! As if the Weymouth Board needs the Historic District to protect their property. As if the Weymouth Board is not competent to protect their property and to preserve its historic character without the help of these "experts" on the Historic District Commission! Do these folks sound like essential experts to you, dear reader?
The arrogance of these historic commissions is astounding, and the entire affair is more a tax avoidance scheme which places certain individuals in overly exalted positions (in their own minds). It's sad, actually.