The Pinehurst Hot Mess: Collapsing like a house of cards


The campaign to regulate short term rentals (STRs) out of existence, that is.  We’ve detected a distinct pattern here: inflammatory accusations aired against STRs and their owners followed by the realization there is NO EVIDENCE to support said accusations. 

We’re told STR tenants are pooping and peeing everywhere but inside restrooms.  No one will go on the record as a witness to this.  We’re told these people park all over the streets.  No word on where they SHOULD park.  (*The grass? John Strickland’s front yard?*)

We’re told about “piling up of trash” all over the village.  When you investigate, you tend to find the truth is more along the lines of filled-to-the-brim rollaway trash cans at the curb,  spillage from village garbage trucks, or debris at renovation / construction sites.

We’ve also been told the “increase in litter” is all the fault of STR renters.  No one can prove this, but it still gets repeated in local gossip circles.

We’re told these STRs are loud and rowdy and disturbing their neighbors. Unfortunately for the tellers of these tales, the Pinehurst police report that STRs do not present a significant problem.  (I’m told the head of the USGA stayed at an STR in downtown Pinehurst during the women’s US Open.  His organization also broke ground on their new HQ during that time period.).  The village released survey results indicating that the great majority of residents living close by multiple STRs believe their quality of life to be GREAT. 

While all of this is going on, some downtown merchants have put up a website protesting the appearance of public parts of downtown Pinehurst.  Some of their issues are truly in the domain of the property owners and/or tenants, but the great majority are things that village government could have taken care of or should be taking care of.

The village council is focusing like a laser beam on regulating these rentals right out of business.  Meanwhile, two of arguably the biggest issues — traffic and the condition of downtown — are being pretty much ignored.

Council members, is it really worth all of this to please the so-called Friday Group?  Can the Friday Group save you folks from the voters now that they’re catching on to your underhanded, arguably fraudulent tactics?

The village government is already facing litigation for alleged political dirty tricks in last year’s elections.  I understand more litigation is guaranteed if the council majority continues their attack on STRs.

Continuing along this path will likely damage the political ambitions and credibility of those who aided and abetted the falsehood-laden attack on STRs.  It likely will also hurt career ambitions of any village staffers who enthusiastically supported and aided the STR attack AND the political dirty tricks.