Thursday, October 25, 2012. 7 PM
Southern Pines Civic Club (corner of Ashe Street and Pennsylvania Avenue)
“Revising the Moore County Land Use Plan – A Vision for Moore County’s Future.”
Panelists Pat Corso and Marsh Smith on the question:  “What do we want the county to look like in the next two or three decades?”

Pat Corso, a member of the Moore County Land Use Planning Committee, has had a great deal to do with visionary undertakings in the North Carolina area.  In 1986, he was transferred to Pinehurst by Club Corp, the previous owner of Pinehurst Resort, and was named president and CEO of the resort in January, 1987, a position that he held for 17 years.  During that time, Corso oversaw the restoration of the resort and its return to prominence as one of the three great golf resorts in the world, having helped recruit major championship golf events, including the 1999 US Open Championship.    He also led Club Corp’s resort division which included the Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia.  Since that time, Corso and his partners founded National Resort Management, managing resorts from Florida to New Hampshire; and he has served on the NC Travel and Tourism Board, the NC Economic Development Board, and the State Chamber Commerce Boards in both North Carolina and New Hampshire.  Named one of the forty North Carolina Tourism Leaders of the Twentieth Century by Appalachian State University, he is currently Executive Director of Moore County Partners in Progress, a public/private partnership promoting economic development in Moore County as well as a franchisee/partner of Pinehurst Donuts, LLC owner of the local five county Dunkin Donuts franchise.

Attorney Marsh Smith, no stranger to championing the environmental aspects of the county’s future, has practiced law in the Sandhills for over 20 years.  Volunteer attorney with the notable Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) in Chapel Hill,  a partner at the Cunningham, Dedmond, Petersen, and Smith firm, he has his own law practice – the Law Office of Marsh Smith, PA – in Southern Pines since 2003.  Known for creative thinking “outside the box,” Smith conceived the Safe Harbor Program that gives landowners greater flexibility under the Endangered Species Act.  Now widely imitated throughout the nation, “Safe Harbor” encourages increases in endangered species habitat while protecting landowners from increased regulatory obligations resulting from such increases.  He served on the Moore County Land Use Plan Steering Committee prior to the adoption of Moore County’s first countywide zoning ordinance.  Smith designed land conservation transactions to allow lower income farm families to share in the tax benefits derived from conservation easements with conservation buyers who have higher ordinary income.  He also represented landowners and an environmental group several years ago that forced NCDOT to drop transportation plans that would have bisected the Walthour-Moss Equestrian Conservation area.

Each panelist brings entirely different visionary ideas to this forum, making for what promises to be a lively discussion.  The public is invited, questions are welcomed, refreshments will be served.

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