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Pinehurst At Odds Over Real Estate Signs

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PINEHURST — For the past couple of years, the Pinehurst village council and the area association of realtors have been at odds over real estate signs. Some people think it is a matter of character while others say it is a matter of human rights.

The village of Pinehurst is known for its small-time charm. It is a quiet community which resists the hustle and bustle of the big city.

Mike Schriber, a Pinehurst realtor, says he is in favor of the village's old ordinance that says what kind of signs realtors can use. It states that all signs must be 8 by 10 inches in size.

"The ambience here is unbelievable," says realtor Mike Schriber. "I brought my family here to smalltown USA."

Another realtor, Jim Murray, says those restrictions are discriminatory.

"All we are asking is equal treatment. We have to use different-sized signs than other sign events," Murray says. "Political signs are almost twice as big as we can use. They have no content restrictions which means they can be red, white and blue. They can use their logos, but we can't."

The federal government agrees with Murray. Last November, a federal judge struck down the village's old ordinance, saying it violates real estate agents' first amendment rights.

Schriber says it is not about colors, but the town's old-fashioned values.

"This town wants to keep its look, its ambience, its professionalism at the resort, and I don't blame them," Schriber says.

Last July, the village council passed a revised ordinance that control the colors of the signs instead of the size. The colors are restricted to hunter green and white.

Murray says the area association of realtors will contest that issue in court.

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Shani Blount, Reporter
David McCorkle, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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