Pinehurst: Queen Nancy expanding her domain, some homeowners catching a break




Grab a chair and some popcorn, boys and girls, the Pinehurst village council is getting together again this week.  Click HERE  and HERE for details.

We were scanning the details of the regular meeting agenda and came across this:

5.     Action: Motion to Recess Regular Meeting and Enter Into a Quasi-Judicial Hearing

6.     Quasi-Judicial Hearing:  The purpose of the public hearing is for a major special use permit for Raymond C. Fiorillo in order to construct an accessory dwelling at 185 Everette Rd. This property is in the R-10 (Single Family Residential) Zoning District and the Historic Preservation Overlay District.  This property is further identified as Moore County Tax Reference LRK # 22104.  The proposed accessory dwelling is to be located in the rear yard of the property.  The applicant is Raymond C. Fiorillo

7.     Action: Motion to Adjourn Quasi-Judicial Hearing and Enter Into a Public Hearing.

If you weren’t aware, Raymond is the husband of our benevolent Queen (and mayor) Nancy Fiorillo.   Is our queen seeking to expand her throne room so she can properly hold court?  Perhaps our queen is constructing a dungeon to imprison those who do not amuse her.  (Watch out, Doug Lapins.)

We managed to secure an audience with Her Majesty, who told us that the project is a proposed “guest house” on the property of the royal residence.

In all seriousness, we’re not all that interested in what the Fiorillos do with their private property.  We DO want to make sure that they receive THE SAME treatment as anyone else seeking to move on a similar project in the village.  (Mayor Nancy says she plans to recuse herself from ALL discussions related to the project.)

We also found this item on the agenda:

8.     Public Hearing: The purpose of the public hearing is to receive public input on the abolition of the Municipal Service District for Ponds #1 and # 2.

A village government source explained to us that — if the abolition is successful –the village will absorb the entire maintenance cost of these ponds.  Homeowners adjacent to the ponds have been paying special assessments.  Total cost to the village — if the abolition goes through — is estimated to be about $3,600 per year.

There was one more interesting item on the agenda:

  1. Discussion:  Interview of potential gateway and wayfinding design team. (Hayter Firm, 10:45 am)
  2. Discussion:  Interview of potential gateway and wayfinding design team. (Land Design, 11:30 am).

My village source tells me this is all part of a plan to re-brand the village with new entry-point welcome signs.  The projects are expected to include sign work and some landscaping.  No word on why no landscaping or sign companies are being interviewed.  Sandhill Signs, a local company, has done most all of the exterior signage work on the FirstHealth Moore Regional campus.   

There is also an item on Tuesday’s agenda for a “closed session” to “preserve the attorney-client privilege.”  There is no indication as to what the closed session is all about.  Let’s look at the open meetings law.  The agenda offers an acceptable exemption for going into executive session, but falls short in one particular area:

The exemptions make it permissible for a public body to close a portion of a meeting; they do not require the public body to do so. To close a session, a public body must identify the exemption justifying closure and vote during a open meeting to hold a closed session. When voting, the public body must refer to the specific statutory exemption relied on to close the meeting. If the public body indicates that it will discuss confidential information, it must identify the law that makes the information in question confidential. If it indicates that it will discuss pending litigation, it must identify the parties to the litigation.

The minutes of closed sessions must give a general account of the closed session so that a person not in attendance would have a reasonable understanding of what took place. A public body may withhold the minutes if public inspection would frustrate the purpose of the closed session. See N.C. Gen. Stat. § 143-318.10(e). When the reason for holding a closed session is no longer valid, a public body must make these minutes available to the public.

Hopefully, the village council will offer more details at their Tuesday meeting.