The Pinehurst Hot Mess: Exceptions, exceptions, exceptions


We here in The People’s Republic of Pinehurst (PRP) have been told for about a year now that vacation rentals are abominations that are ruining our community and need to be banned. We had months and months of debate and turmoil. Friendships were strained and even ended.  Lawyers got into the mix and explained reality to some of the pro-ban loudmouths.  Reality started to set in.  Britches got soiled. Suddenly, the Strickland-Pizzella cabal — which had been so hell-bent on totalitarianism and an outright ban — wanted to “compromise.”


The Strickland-Pizzella cabal approved a deal that allowed all current rentals to stay as-is, but piled a huge amount of new red-tape on top of those property owners. Their property would be assessed a special zoning designation that would be transferred with the sale of the property.  No new vacation rental properties would be allowed onto the market in the PRP.

A certain community in town — whose name rhymes with “Let Me See” — was plenty perturbed with the plan pushed by The Strickland-Pizzella cabal.  This community had been planning the construction of new short-term rental property in the near future.  The ban approved by Strickland-Pizzella-Hogeman would have thrown a real monkey-wrench into those plans.  We understand that things cooled down when community leaders were told by comrade mayor Strickland and comrade mayor-pro-tem Pizzella that exceptions would be approved after the initial totalitarianism had been rammed through the village council.

Fast forward to this past Tuesday.  Village Manager Jeff Sanborn informed the council that the planning office has been working on some changes to the vacation rental restrictions. A new zoning designation called “planned neighborhood rental” would be established.  And new vacation rentals would be allowed in a community with “a rental program managed by a governing board that answers to the property owners.”

From the beginning, I’ve argued the vacation rental restrictions were a hare-brained scheme hatched by three deranged politicians and their dozen or so elitist cocktail pals. Government has no standing to tell you whether you can or cannot rent your property — or even how long you rent it.  Planning officials admitted it can only be enforced via neighbors tattling on neighbors.


But this trio on the council put us all through turmoil claiming that they were cracking down on things that were bad – bad-bad for our community. If they really are so bad, WHY are they carving out exceptions for certain parts of town? Bad things ought to be removed from ALL parts of town — if you really are acting out of concern for community goodwill.

It’s actually undemocratic and un-American to suggest that some people get more property rights than others.

But look where we are.  We actually banned kids from being outside after dark.