Local News

Pittsboro Building Ban May Stick Around

Posted December 5, 2007

— A building ban in Pittsboro may last longer than some folks expected. The ban was introduced over a year and a half ago when Pittsboro's wastewater treatment plant couldn't keep up with the growth.

The moratorium on residential subdivisions with 25 or more building lots or housing units has hurt some builders.

"It may be two years, I'm not sure what to do. I may have to just sell and quit," builder Ricky Spoon said.

Spoon has two subdivision projects in limbo because of the building ban.

"I have several million dollars invested and it's my money," he said.

The Board of Commissioners voted in October to extend the ban on new, large development for two more years.

"I'm looking at this as about a 2 1/2 year process, if all goes well," town manager Bill Terry said.

Terry said Pittsboro doesn't have the estimated $35 million to build a new wastewater treatment plant. The town has been working with developers to help pay for it, but so far – no deal.

"We're confident that we can come to some sort of agreement with the development community and create the cash flow necessary to support the project," Terry said.

Until then, development and growth will remain on hold.

"I consider Pittsboro my home. I want to see it grow and I want to see it grow in the right way," Spoon said.

A solution being considered would have developers pay impact fees up front. Spoon said he has offered $7 million upfront to help pay for the new wastewater treatment plant.


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  • colliedave Dec 5, 2007

    A few years from now when the "no-growth" mentality has hit the town's economy the leaders will wonder what has happend.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Dec 5, 2007

    I just don't see continuing building homes when there is no water. Water has been taken granted for a long while. When we do get back up-to-par, we should continue reserving and saving and not being wasteful for all the water we can; just like we are doing now. When it do rain, please do not complain. Where do you think the water comes from? :)

  • razor Dec 5, 2007

    kstor and bulldozer, the developer's projects were approved by paid off members of the board of commissioners prior to a resounding slap in the face by the citizens of chatham county at the polls once they became aware about what was really going on. Politics here got really dirty for a couple of years. The new board of commissioners has had a nightmare of development to deal with. And believe me, Ricky Spoon is not hurting in any way personally, and his projects will be developed eventually anyway. Our leaders are very experienced and knowledgeable and I commend them for approaching decisions wisely.

    Raydianse, since when do you define socialism as seeking to protect critical infrastructure? It's pretty sad that sometimes the schools have to shut off their water for the day because of the archaic infrastructure, yet we should still be expected to double or triple our population base? If by socialism you mean common sense, then I see your point.

  • Raydianse Dec 5, 2007

    what is the point of even owning land if I have to get the governments approval for everything I do to the land? and how can so many of you be against personal freedoms and rights? People have a problem with HOA (private groups) not wanting clothesline in the yards, but yet are for a government controlling how someone can choose to destroy someone's future. this is what leads to the areas that so many people hate, where it is just a walmart and a ruby Tuesday's and other corporate area, because you are forcing the individual out, and only leaving it up to the big dogs. what you are doing is making the land so hard to develop so costly that the only people who can do anything are the huge bland corporations that take away from the city. really pittsboro is shooting themselves in the foot in the long run.

  • Raydianse Dec 5, 2007

    With no one living in the area, I am sure it will be easier to provide the little water you will need. To me as a neighbor of Pittsboro, I see the down as an area that badly needs development to help encourage economic growth. I know many people that are from the area, and they complain about how it is so isolated and in turn have moved to Raleigh, Charlotte or other metropolitan areas that also offer better job opportunities for them. I do not live in Pittsoboro, so I can only say that for me I see this as something that in the future is only going to hurt the area, but hopefully send the development my way to help my city! Pittsboro to me used to be an area where I thought they stood for property rights and peoples freedom, where the respected the Constitution of a person's right to own land but I guess that they are moving towards this socialist ideal like so many other areas.

  • Space Mountain Dec 5, 2007

    Yes, finally a local government with common sense.

  • DrunkSober Dec 5, 2007

    "I have several million dollars invested and it's my money," he said.

    Spoon sounds like a glutton to me.If he has 'millions of dollars', why cant he get satisfied instead of wanting more and more?Give me a break!

  • hillbill3 Dec 5, 2007

    I am glad that Ricky Spoon cant build any time soon. He is nothing but a greedy person anyways. Always wanting to buy land and build on it. I hope they extend it some more.

  • kstor33 Dec 5, 2007

    Bulldozer...I'm with you. How ridiculous for the town leaders to make a terrible decision of this size and devastate this developer. They should have never approved this subdivision to start with unless they KNEW there was enough water treatment. It is so easy for them to make decisions when it's SOMEBODY else's money!!! What do they care if it doesn't work out?! They go back to their lives. They have devastated this builder! These are our great leaders?! Disgusting!

  • BULLDOZER Dec 5, 2007

    I agree that the town should halt growth on "future" projects if their infrastructure can not support it. BUT, don't do it to a developer that already has apporved plans and that is in constrction. They Planning and Zoning board of Pittsboro should not have approved the site plan when the knew it could not be supported. You can't give permission to a developer to develop and then pull the rug out from him later.