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Sunday, 03 December 2006

Moore home builder sues Pinehurst over zoning regulatiions
A Moore County home builder has sued the village, saying Pinehurst’s zoning regulations make it prohibitively expensive for builders to supply affordable homes. The village amended a portion of the Pinehurst Development Ordinance in September to require certain building and landscaping designs for homes. The amended ordinance requires that builders who are constructing single-family homes conduct a tree survey and plant a certain number of trees, the lawsuit says.

Moore home builder sues Pinehurst over zoning regulatiions

PINEHURST — A Moore County home builder has sued the village, saying Pinehurst’s zoning regulations make it prohibitively expensive for builders to supply affordable homes.

Quality Built Homes Inc. filed the lawsuit Nov. 22 in U.S. District Court in Greensboro.

The Moore County Home Builders Association, Big Sky Construction, Charles McClendon, a subcontractor, and resident Paul Mahon are also plaintiffs in the suit.

Mahon is trying to buy an affordable house in Pinehurst, according to the lawsuit.

The village amended a portion of the Pinehurst Development Ordinance in September to require certain building and landscaping designs for homes.

The lawsuit says the requirements are too strict and make it costly for some builders and home buyers to do business in the village.

“More specifically,” the lawsuit says, “the additional requirements of the amended ordinance increase the cost of building homes on smaller lots in Pinehurst, increasing the price that individuals must pay to purchase homes in the smaller lot zoning districts and therefore decreasing the supply of the affordable housing.”

The amended ordinance requires that builders who are constructing single-family homes conduct a tree survey and plant a certain number of trees, the lawsuit says.

It also requires that single-family home builders plant a certain number of five-gallon plants and three-gallon plants around the foundation of each lot, the suit says.

Pinehurst Attorney Mike Newman said the requirements are reasonable.

“The village intends to vigorously defend this matter,” Newman said. “And we will try this in court any time.”

The village worked with home builders — including Ron Jackson, who runs Quality Built Homes — and members of the Home Builders Association when it set out to create the regulations, Newman said.

Village officials also heard public comments on the matter before adopting the regulations, he said.

“This whole lawsuit is being driven exclusively by Ron Jackson,” Newman said. “This is simply Mr. Jackson being upset that he is being forced to comply to minor landscaping regulations.”

Jackson has challenged the village on similar issues in the past, Newman said. Jackson sued the village in 2001 over established powers for the Pinehurst Community Appearance Commission. The suit claimed that the village gave the commission more authority than the state allowed.

The parties came to an agreement in 2003.

In the most recent lawsuit, Jackson is asking that the court to declare the new ordinance invalid and unenforceable. It also asks that the cost of the action be taxed against the defendants.

Staff writer Amneris Solano can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or 486-3521.
http://www.fayobserver.com/article?id=248424
 
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