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Commission denies rezoning of possible sand mine location


By Seth Thomas Gulledge
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A request to rezone about 60 acres north of Pitt-Greenville Airport for industrial use was denied on Tuesday night, due to concerns about how the newly permitted uses — namely sand-mining — would affect nearby residents.

The request was one of many rezoning requests heard by the Planning and Zoning Commission during its monthly meeting. The commission approved all other requests, including several around Dickinson Avenue and a large swath of land near a recognized industrial zone. 

The rezoning was requested by Happy Trial Farms, LLC for the 60.8 acres located between Belvoir Highway and Sunnybrook Road (Tract 1) and at the northeastern corner of the intersection of Belvoir Highway and Redmond Lane (Tract 2). The lot now is empty land, and the request would change the tracts from residential-agricultural and general commercial to industry for Tract 1, which contains 51 acres, and heavy commercial for Tract 2, the remaining 9.8 acres

During a public hearing on the request, about 20 residents of the nearby area came out to oppose it, with many voicing their concerns that it would be adapted into a sand mine, much like an adjacent sand mine that had been operating for many years.

One of those residents, Richard Mayberry said the existence of the sand mine for the last few decades has been detrimental to his health and quality of life, because of the dust and noise.

“I have complained about the dust, about the shaking of the house, and no one has taken care of it,” he said. “If sand mining is their plan for the area, the traffic and noise is going to affect me again for another 5-10 years. I’m just tired of it, I really, really don’t want to have to go through that again.” 

Mike Baldwin, who represented Happy Trail Farms at the hearing, did not say the land would be specifically used for sand mining, though much of the conversation between the public and commission was in regards to the specific use.

If approved, the rezoning would allow for many additional uses, including sand mining. 

In May, Baldwin received unanimous approval from the commission for an ordinance amending the heavy commercial zoning to include sand mining specifically. 

Another resident, Steve Nickles, said he believes that sand mining is the obvious assumption for use of the rezoned property because of it is immediately adjacent to an almost-depleted sand mine and related equipment. 

“Since the one you see in the map is almost finished, it’s almost a guarantee they’re going to move the dump trucks and cranes over and start mining there,” he said. “I just can’t see this happening for another 30-40 years with the residents there.”  

Other residents echoed Mayberry and Nickle’s comments, stating the presence of industrial zoning and possibly sand mining would be hugely detrimental to the nearby infrastructure, quality of life and their health. 

“It’s not fair that big companies can come in and do what they want because of money,” resident Edward Downing said. “I understand that people have to live and eat, but what about us, the little people.” 

Following the hearing, a motion to deny the request was raised by John Collins and seconded by Hap Maxwell. The request was denied 6-2 with Max Ray Joyner III and Les Robinson voting against denial. 

Following the denial, the request will go on to be considered by the Greenville City Council, likely during one of its August meetings. 

Also at the meeting: 

  • The commission unanimously approved a request regarding 130.6 acres located at northeastern corner of the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Highway (U.S. 264 Bypass) and Old Creek Road. The request, from Gary L. Warren, Trustee of the Gary L. Warren Revocable Trust, would rezone the entire plot from residential/agricultural, industry and unoffensive industry to planned unoffensive industry. The agenda noted that the proposed rezoning would accommodate 754,000 square feet of pharmaceutical manufacturing space.
  • The commission unanimously approved a request by Salvatore Passalacqua to rezone two tenths of an acre at the northwestern corner of Dickinson and Columbia Avenue. Passalacqua wanted to change the vacant lot beside Temple of Zion Church from downtown commercial fringe to downtown commercial, because the new zoning would allow for a greater variety of uses and design. 
  • The commission unanimously approved a request from The Imperial Building LLC and Saad Rentals LLC to rezone four tenths of an acre — some 18,644 square feet — at the southeastern corner Dickinson Avenue and West Ninth Street from downtown commercial fringe to downtown commercial. The triangular lot is home to several historical storefront buildings.

Contact Seth Gulledge at 252-329-9579 and Sgulledge@reflector.com