SOUTHERN PINES — Southern Pines could see new election rules as well as a new Chick-fil-A location in the near future. The town council met last week for a planning session ahead of their business meeting this week with various development and governmental process items on the agenda.
Before the meeting got under way, Mayor Carol Haney reminded attendees that the Pinehurst Harness Track would be hosting a matinee race. “If you’re looking for a giggle, harness track this Saturday is the mayor’s race,” said Haney. “Let the games begin.”
One of the first items for discussion at the meeting was a proposal to change the town’s charter related to municipal elections. The council will hold an April 12 public hearing to discuss a move from a primary method to a plurality method. The results of that hearing will be included in the next issue of the North State Journal since the meeting concluded after press time. The change would mean that when municipal elections are held in the town, a plurality of votes would constitute a victory for a candidate. This situation occurs when more than two candidates face off. As the town charter currently reads, if a candidate fails to get a majority of votes, a run-off is needed.
The council will also consider the adoption of a municipal service district for downtown revitalization. The town is considering establishing a municipal service district to finance, operate and maintain downtown revitalization projects, including a parkway connecting Highway 15-501 to Morganton Road to make it easier for vehicular traffic to get to the central city area and to allow residents and retail establishments on the parkway. The proposed municipal service district consists of the approximately 100 acres located between Highway 15-501 and Morganton Road, a portion of which was recently annexed into the town. Final adoption of such a district would not happen until June.
Another discussion item present to the council is the intended move of Chick-fil-A restaurant from its current location at the corner of Highway 15/501 and Murray Hill Road to a new site down 15/501. The restaurant’s plan to move to an existing site where the old Golden Corral was located at the corner of Turner Street and 15/501.
The plan includes a new 5,000 square foot building with surface parking and a double drive-thru after the old building is demolished. Jennifer Hunt, a planner for the town presented an overview of the project to the council. Hunt’s report to the council noted the restaurant’s move take it closer to Aberdeen and the northwest corner of the proposed property is located in the Town of Aberdeen.
Steve Malloy, from Edwards and Hotchkiss Architects, represented Chick-fil-A at the meeting. Mayor Haney asked him when the restaurant might open. “They are moving forward with it,” said Malloy. He told the council that his guess would be that the restaurant would open at the new site by the end of the year.
The council will take up these items and other business items at their regular meeting on Tuesday, April 12.