Quality of Life for Residents

A key consideration for Lydia is the quality of life of Pinehurst residents.  Council has had two ways to measure quality of life this past year:

  1. In the Village’s most recent annual Community Survey, which is statistically valid, 95% of those surveyed indicated that the Village is either an excellent or good place to live.  This is 45% higher than the national average.  Every Village resident should be proud of this result.
  2. A special “Quality of Life” survey also was conducted last year.  It also was statistically valid.  It indicated that 94% of single-family resident respondents rate their quality of life in their immediate neighborhood as excellent or good.

Every December, in Council’s annual retreat, Council receives the results of the Community Survey conducted in that year.  The most important finding for Lydia is this quality-of-life measure.  It’s always good to see an excellent finding, but it’s also important to learn if quality of life is diminishing in any respect.

Short-Term Rentals

Every property owner in the State of North Carolina has a right protected by the North Carolina Constitution to buy, sell, or use his or her property.  This right to use property includes the right to rent one’s property.  In other words, every property owner in Pinehurst has a right to rent his or her property on a short-term basis, and that right is protected by our state Constitution.  It is a private property right.

The only way this property right may be taken away is if “compelling” facts are established that indicate that STRs are causing significant harm to the community.  A “strict-scrutiny standard” would be applied by the courts.

Lydia voted against the STR ordinance, based on the legal principles described above.  During the months’-long debate, Lydia was sympathetic to the concerns voiced by residents.  Furthermore, as sincere as these concerns were, they did not rise to the level of compelling facts to restrict the private property rights of Village taxpayers.

In addition, Lydia’s position all along was that the owners of STRs and those opposed to STRs should come together to find a compromise solution.  This was an approach that worked in Raleigh and should have been used in the Village.

Lydia is not taking the position that the STR ordinance should be revoked or rescinded.  She wants to be very clear about that.  If a majority of the new Council wants to take another look at STRs, she’d be in favor of that.  Lydia’s approach, however, would be the same as it was during 2022, i.e., let the opposing sides come together to attempt to find a compromise solution.  Lydia also would work closely with the local delegation to the General Assembly to understand the legislature’s views on this issue.  Council should not take any actions that will be nullified by the General Assembly.

National Historic Landmark District

The accomplishment for which Lydia is most proud is her work on resolving the conflict with the National Park Service (NPS) related to the Pinehurst National Historic Landmark District.  This was a commitment she made during her 2019 campaign for Village Council; Lydia fulfilled that commitment.

There are approximately 90,000 listings on the National Register of Historic Places.  Less than 2,600, or 3%, are given “Landmark” status.  The Village of Pinehurst is one of those distinguished places.

National Historic Landmarks are defined as “historic properties that illustrate the heritage of the United States.  Each National Historic Landmark represents an outstanding aspect of American history and culture.”  The Pinehurst National Historic Landmark District is made up of two distinct components:  (1) the Olmsted piece and (2) the golf piece, which includes the work of Donald J. Ross.

The Village’s relationship with the NPS was broken and had been for almost 20 years.  The NPS had placed the Village on a “watch” list and then a “threatened” list.  The Village could have lost this prestigious designation.

With the assistance of Senator Thom Tillis, Senator Richard Burr, Congressman Richard Hudson, and their staffs, they rebuilt our relationship with the NPS.  The NPS conducted a year-long “Integrity and Condition Study” that was completed this year.  That study gave the Village a clean bill of health, and we now are in a position to market and leverage this valuable asset.

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