Village-manager-from-hell Jeff Sanborn and his incompetent sidekick, mayor John Strickland cannot let go of this short-term rentals thing. Both want a new bureaucracy to basically wipe the practice out of existence. Never mind that TWO consecutive police chiefs have told them short-term rentals are not a significant source of crime or public nuisance. Never mind that these two can only recall ONE incident where a party at a short-term rental got out of control. Never mind that the regulation and eventual ban will likely wipe out a lot of private businesses, including some at the village’s gated communities. *The elitist snobs in the Friday Group want it done, so DAMMIT it will be done.*
Residential Neighborhood Quality of Life Improvements: A lot of these godawful changes will come up tonight (Tuesday) at the council work session. Strickland, Sanborn, and their allies will try to accomplish their personal agendas by making amendments to the aforementioned RNQ of LI. Read these text amendments. They’re trying to tighten up parking regulations in Olde Towne / downtown so it’s even harder to park there. They’re also trying to crack down on “large and unruly gatherings.” What constitutes a “large and unruly gathering”? Check this out:
Ten or more people at your house is “large and unruly” ???? That’s going to shut down an awful lot of cocktail parties in Pinehurst. Cocktail Parties and golf are the two favorite pastimes for village residents. The caterer and his/her staff plus the property owners will likely hit the ten person benchmark before the guests even start to arrive. I’ve been to cocktail parties that have HUNDREDS of guests. There are plenty of houses in town that can comfortably accommodate a crowd of that size. None of them have qualified as “loud and unruly”. Not one.
Will “Live After Five” events downtown or events at The Arboretum be shut down by these regulations? They are outside and can get noisy.
Kids’ birthday parties will likely exceed ten people. Holiday dinners, or even Sunday dinners with the kids and grandkids will likely hit that benchmark.
This is a terrible idea. It harkens back to the days when the village council tried to ban kids from being outside after dark. Or when they spent a lot of time inspecting and evaluating swing-sets and fence picket widths and spacing. The problem then, as it is now, was a geriatric out-of-touch majority being manipulated by a megalomaniacal village manager and staff.
Another amendment seems to tiptoe right up to violating our constitutional freedom of assembly:
[…] Written permission for activities significantly for religious or political purposes shall be granted, subject only to reasonable time, place and manner restrictions. Written permission issued under this section may specify that the permission granted will continue for a stated period or until revoked after actual notice. Persons shall not be held in violation of this section when acting in conformity with permitted conditions, but any permission may be revoked if it is determined that the authorized activity has resulted in generation of unreasonably loud, disturbing sound levels, or significant complaints from residents.[…]
Complaints about ONE episode at a short-term rental has us on the brink of forming a new bureaucracy to regulate short-term rentals. What constitutes “significant complaints” to these people? Could three Democrats living nearby shut down a GOP candidate’s fundraiser?
So, you have to get written permission from Herr Sanborn to hold a political fundraiser (of which quite a few get held) or a religious-related function at your house? How does one hold Sanborn and his team accountable when we are burdened with a geriatric, somnambulant council majority?
Sanborn does lay out how you can appeal his decision about proposed activities at your home:
[…] (2) In case permission is denied, written permission is provided with conditions unacceptable to the application, or permission is revoked, the applicant shall be entitled to a prompt, informal hearing with the Village Manager or his or her designee, upon submission of a written request. Any person aggrieved by a matter regulated by this section may submit to the Village Manager written comments, including requests for appropriate relief.[…]
isn’t that special? Again, nobody voted for this guy. For what it’s worth, I am hearing a lot of regrets being expressed by some of his earliest fans / cheerleaders.
Sanborn is apparently running around in a panic, scared to death that there is a plot afoot to fire him. I don’t blame him.
The document goes on to place an awful lot of power in the hands of the village manager. THAT is dangerous. Many of us voted for our fellow citizens to keep an eye on village bureaucrats and their plans for us, paid for with OUR money. THAT needs to happen here BIG TIME.
Unless we want to go back to the days when planning & zoning goons snooped uninvited all over our property and nosy neighbors were encouraged to tattle on us to village hall, we need to take immediate action here.
Show up tonight and give Strickland and Sanborn an earful. It is OUR village.