Moore COunty LogoThe Seven Lakes Aeromodelers Club can breathe a sigh of relief, after a decision by Moore County’s Board of Adjustment that allows them to continue flying their radio-controlled model airplanes over a 60-acre pasture near the intersection of NC Highway 73 and Beulah Hill Church Road.

Still, though that battle is won, the war may not be over.

The next engagement is likely to be in Moore County Superior Court. And it may all come down to the meaning of the word “club.”

The Complaint

The Board of Adjustment met on Wednesday, July 27 to consider a request by Samuel A. Blackwell, III, and Elizabeth Blackwell of Raleigh, who own an adjacent ten acre property, to overturn a zoning permit, authorized by Planning Director Joey Raczkowski, that allows the Aeromodelers to fly their planes from a parcel leased from T. Clyde Auman Farms.

The Club leases property just to the west of the Blackwell’s tract, as well as rights to fly over a larger pasture.

The Blackwells acquired their adjacent tract in January 2010, and filed a complaint concerning the Aeromodelers with the Moore County Planning Department in November of last year.

Planners determined that the Aeromodelers needed a zoning permit to fly their planes from the Auman property, but also initially used the complaint as an opportunity to add a new land use — “outdoor recreation” — to the Zoning Ordinance. When that ran into complications at the Planning Board level, Planning staff asked the Aeromodelers to submit an application for a Zoning Permit and a commercial site plan, which Planning Director Joey Raczkowski, ultimately approved.

The Blackwells appealed that approval, arguing that Raczkowksi had wrongly interpreted the zoning ordinance and had failed to stop the Aeromodelers from flying, once it was clear they needed a zoning permit to do so.

Read more: Aeromodelers Still Flying

SLLALogoOngoing efforts to improve and expand safe parking areas at Sequoia Point have the Seven Lakes Landowners Association [SLLA] Board of Directors taking a hard look at unregistered boats and trailers that are cluttering the marina storage yard.

“There are some pretty shabby boats and trailers down there," said Director Bruce Keyser, Jr. during the Wednesday, July 27 Open Meeting. "I recommend we contact owners, if possible, and give a set amount of time to register or remove their boats and trailers.”

Only three out of twenty-eight vessels stored at the facility have current registration stickers, and an estimated twenty-five percent of the boat trailers stored at the site have no identifying markings of any kind.

Three years ago, a similar clean-up of the marina area was undertaken; but the effort included only boats and trailers whose owners could be identified.

SLLA President Bob Darr explained that, at that time, several boats without identification stickers were pulled and moved to the Yard Debris Site. Those boats will be included in the overall clearing out and removal project this time around.

During Wednesday's meeting, Keyser also recommended a proposed parking plan for the boat yard that would include a fence and expand the storage area into a level section of property owned by the Association at Primrose Circle.

During public comment, Northsider JoAn Moses thanked the Board for their prompt attention to her recent request to mow and apply weed killer to the boat lot.

Read more: Junk Boats May Be Junkyard Bound

SLWLA LogoThe Westside Board of Directors wants additional input from the community before creating a four-way stop at the entrance to West Side Park Community Center, in order to slow traffic through the intersection, which sits atop a hill, making visibility tricky.

Safety & Security Director Jim McCarthy offered a motion during the Tuesday, July 26 Seven Lakes West Landowners Association [SLWLA] Work Session to install a four-way stop at the intersection, which he said would reduce the likelihood of accidents, particularly if a new mail house is located behind the Community Center.

Saying “this is a big, big change,” Infrastructure Director John Goodman refused to vote on the motion until the community had an opportunity to weigh in. Other Board members agreed on the need for more input, leading McCarthy to withdraw his motion.

President Mick Herdrich said landowners can provide comments through the SLWLA website -- but there was plenty of comment during the Work Session.

Westsider Bill Price, speaking during member comments, said he did “not see a necessity” of having a four way stop at the Community Center entrance. “It is not stopping, not looking, and not being careful” that is causing any problems, Price said. Director Goodman agreed, suggesting that drivers should just stop and look both ways when exiting the WSPCC.

Legal Director Jack Stevens said “legislating good behavior and good judgement is awful hard to do -- the more stop signs we put up will not change that.”

Read more: Westside Board Wants Input on Four-Way Stop

[The version of this story that appears in the Friday, July 22 print edition of The Times contains an error. Wells in Seven Lakes provide only ten percent of the community's water supply; ninety percent is piped in from the county system in Pinehurst. The error has been corrected in the text below.]

Moore County LogoNick Picerno, Pete Dotto, and Darrell Marks seem to be agreed on at least two points:

• The Seven Lakes area needs second source of water.

• Doubling or tripling Seven Lakes water rates in order to get that water is not a good option.

Picerno, a McLendon Hills resident who chairs the Moore County Board of Commissioners, brought a small contingent of county officials to a meeting with the Greater Seven Lakes Community Council [GSLCC] on Monday, July 17. The topic was water for Seven Lakes, and the wisdom of getting that water by reinvigorating the North West Moore Water District.

Picerno was joined by fellow Commissioner Craig Kennedy, who hails from the Northwest Moore area, County Manager Cary McSwain, Assistant Manager Kent Larking, and newly installed Director of Public Utilities Randy Gould.

Dotto, President of the McLendon Hills Property Owners Association, is the current Chair of the Community Council and was joined by Seven Lakes Business Guild President Marks, as well as President Mick Herdrich and former President Ron Shepard of the Seven Lakes West Landowners Association, and President Bob Darr and Dennis Roberts from the Seven Lakes Landowners Association.

Read more: Seven Lakes Council, County Talk Water

Foxfire LogoCouncilman Vic Koos’ resignation from the Foxfire Village Council leaves the Council with the task of filing his seat on an interim basis — and the Board of Elections with the task of seeking another Village Council candidate for elections in November.

The State Board of Elections has declared a Special Filing Period from Noon on Wednesday July 20 to Noon on Tuesday, July 26, during which prospective candidates may file their intention to run for the two years left in Koos’ term of office. Those who wish to file must do so in person at the Moore County Board of Elections office at 700 Pinehurst Avenue in Carthage. The filing fee is $5.00.

There are already three Village Candidates on the ballot in November. Mayor George Erickson, whose four-year term on the council is expiring, has filed to stand for re-election. Ed Lauer will be leaving the Council; Woodland Circle resident Steven Durham has filed with the Board of Elections to run for that seat.

John Eltschlager, who was appointed to the Council in August 2010, after the resignation of Page Coker, will seek re-election for the two years left in that term of office.

That leaves no candidate seeking to serve out the two years left in Koos’ term of office.

Moore County Elections Director Glenda Clendenin explained that the Foxfire Village Charter requires the Council to fill a vacant seat with thirty days of a vacancy, but that appointment is good only until the next regularly-scheduled municipal election, when the voters are asked to fill the seat.

What if no one files to run for Koos seat by noon on Tuesday?

“Then we will facilitate a write-in space on the ballot,” Clendenin told The Times.

Read more: Foxfire Needs a Fourth Council Candidate

Moore County LogoAlmost two years after the initial application was submitted, the Pine Forest Development won approval Tuesday night, July 19, from the Moore County Board of Commissioners to be rezoned from Residential/Agricultural to a Planned Unit Development Hamlet [PUD-H].

But don’t expect to see carpenters, bricklayers, or earth-moving equipment on the 1,652 acre parcels right away. The rezoning approval does not include water or sewer agreements that must be approved before actual development of the property can begin.

Casting their votes Tuesday night, for the first time in at least seven years, the Board used signed, paper ballots. The three-to-one vote to approve the rezoning was opposed by Commissioner Tim Lea and supported by Commissioners Nick Picerno, Craig Kennedy, and Jimmy Melton. Commissioner Larry Caddell, a former Mayor of the Town of Carthage sought recusal from the process in its early stages, after hearing testimony that the development could threaten Nick’s Creek, the source of the town’s water supply.

Chairman Picerno pointed out that there are still “two very large obstacles” that must be overcome before building can begin at Pine Forest — the approval of the water and sewer agreements for the PUD-H. The sewer agreement includes the developer MHK, Inc’s plans to construct a private wastewater treatment facility on-site.

Read more: Commissioners Approve Pine Forest Rezoning

SLWLA Logo Progress Energy will begin on Monday, July 18, a series of infrastructure upgrades in Seven Lakes West -- a project expected to take two to four months to complete. The repairs were announced on the Westside's website on Friday:

"This project is scheduled to help improve reliability to clients. It will hopefully better control outages such as lightning strikes, etc. Progress Energy may need to bore new cable in many areas to reach their goals.

Power will be off during this time at various locations and at various times. Letters have been sent to each customer to notify them of the approximate time their individual service will be interrupted and the approximate length of time involved. This could be from 10 minutes to as much as 1 1/2 hours."

Read more on the SLWLA Website.

Moore County NC Logo

The Moore County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday evening, July 19,  will once again take up the controversial rezoning permit for the Pine Forest PUD -- a 1700 residential and resort development with three golf courses that lies along NC Highway 211 between West End and West Pine Middle School.

The Planning Department has proposed as conditions of approval setbacks of 50 feet from streams and 25 feet from wetlands -- as well as the dedication of streams and wetlands to a conservation organization -- as conditions of approval. Those measures are designed to protect Nick's Creek, the source of water for the Town of Carthage. The Town itself may seek more substantial buffers during the Town Commissioners' meeting on Monday.

The Planning staff also recommends a condition prohibiting any withdrawals of water from Nick's Creek.

Not included in the Planning Department's recommendations are any special conditions regarding the development's privately owned and operated wastewater treatment plant -- which would be the first such facility in Moore County.

Download the agenda for the Board of Commissioners meeting, or the full meeting packet, which includes the proposed conditions for approval of the Pine Forest rezoning.

SLWLA LogoIn an effort to improve safety around Lake Auman docks, the Architectural Review Committee [ARC] has won initial approval from the Seven Lakes West Landowners Association [SLWLA] Board of Directors for a change to the rules and regulations that would increase the maximum length of a dock to 23 feet. The motion carried 8-to-1 during the Board's Tuesday, July 12 Work Session, with Infrastructure Director John Goodman in opposition.

A second and final reading and vote on the proposed change will take place at the Tuesday, July 26 Work Session.

Presenting the proposed increase in permitted dock length, ARC Director John Hoffmann said President Mick Herdrich had asked the ARC committee to look into the matter, since the largest boats legally allowed on Lake Auman are 22.8 feet long.

Safety was cited as the primary reason for the change. Hoffmann explained that, for example, a 22-foot pontoon boat, with a rear gas tank, moored at a too-short dock, can be both inconvenient and potentially dangerous -- and could create a potential gasoline spill into the lake.

Read more: Board Tentatively Approves Longer Docks on Lake Auman

Foxfire LogoWith only a few months left in his current term of office, Foxfire Village Councilman Vic Koos reluctantly announced his resignation during the Council's Tuesday, July 12 meeting, citing health reasons and changing demands on his family that made the decision necessary.

“It is impossible for me to find the time to do the job to the standard that it has been done in the past four years," read Mayor George Erickson from a statement issued by Koos, who was too choked up to make the announcement on his own behalf. "To say this has been a difficult decision is an understatement.”

Elected in November 2007, Koos has been an active and engaged leader, overseeing streets and parks for three years, and public safety concerns through the past year.

He thanked his fellow councilmen for their support and said he hoped that by resigning now, another candidate for the Foxfire Village Council would step forward.

Both Mayor George Erickson and Councilman John Eltschlager have filed with the Moore County Board of Elections as candidates in November's municipal elections, but, as of Noon on Thursday, no one had yet filed to run for Koos' seat. The filing deadline is this Friday, July 15, at Noon.

Read more: Koos Resigns from Foxfire Village Council

In Memory Of

  • Jane Scales Facey

     of Foxfire Village died on Tuesday, April 19 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. A private...

  • Nancy P. Neilson

    formerly of Seven Lakes, died on Monday,  April 18. Nancy and her husband, Roger, retired from...

  • John E. Letter

    95, of Seven Lakes, died Monday, March 21, at his home, surrounded by family and friends. A...

  • Marilyn Rose Kemble Bearden

     84, formerly of Seven Lakes, died on March 8 in Greenville, SC. The family will receive friends on...

  • Vonadora Baker Stackhouse

    96, died on Wednesday, March 2, her wedding anniversary, at her home in Seven Lakes West. Services were...

  • James R. Nichols

    (Jim) of Seven Lakes died at his home on Monday, February 22.  A Celebration of his life will be...

  • Timothy William Bouchelle

    49, of West End died on Friday, February 19, 2016 at his residence.  A visitation will be held from...

  • John P. Carpenter

    75, of Seven Lakes North died Saturday, February 13 at FirstHealth Hospice House in Pinehurst. A...

  • Michael Jerome Loney

    87 of Seven Lakes West died Tuesday, February 9 at First Health Moore Regional Hospital in...

  • Glenda Mae (Marks) Tucker

    64 of Seven Lakes passed on Sunday February 7 at Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro.  A...

  • Dr. William Harrell Johnson

    92 years old, of Seven Lakes West, died on Tuesday, February 2, at home.  A memorial service was...