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Castle Hayne Sand Mining Proposal Resurfaces

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Sep 7, 2018
A proposed rezoning for a sand mining operation previously eyed for the Castle Hayne area in 2014 has resurfaced.

New Hanover County sent out a public meeting notice Friday for a proposal for conditional use rezoning of 63 acres of land at 4117 Castle Hayne Road from rural agricultural to heavy industrial for a sand mining operation.

The request came from Stephen Coggins, a partner with the Rountree Losee law firm, on behalf of the property owner Hilton Properties Limited Partnership.

Coggins said Friday that the new proposal was from the same owner for a similar operation on the property as from four years ago.

"There have been a lot of favorable developments that have taken place since 2014," he said about why the proposal has come back up.

The state has issued a mining permit for the operation, he said, adding that "that's something fairly recent."

The owners have also addressed pollution concerns involving a plumb on General Electric's property adjacent to the site, Coggins said. The permitting has been done in such a way that the first phase of the operation would not be in the path of the plumb, he said. 

The operation is still being planned for use in the construction industry, for which Coggins said, "the market for sand has only intensified since 2014."

The previous application for the sand mine went before the New Hanover County Planning Board in February 2014.

Prior to that planning meeting, the proposal went before the community during a December 2013 meeting held in the Wrightsboro area. Community members at the time had expressed concerns and some opposition to the project.

At the February 2014 planning meeting, the submission was continued for 60 days and eventually withdrawn, county planners said Friday.

More than four years later, the same type of rezoning request for a sand mining operation is being explored. However, an official application has not yet been submitted.

County ordinance requires a community meeting to be held before an application is submitted to the county, county planners said.

The earliest an application would be submitted is by the Oct. 15 deadline, which would put the application before the planning board on Dec. 6 to give a recommendation, a planning official said. 

The community meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 19 at St. James AME Church, 3425 Castle Hayne Road, to discuss the proposal and answer questions.
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