A Castle Hayne property being eyed for a proposed sand mining operation is scheduled to go before the county’s planning board next week.
The property owner, Hilton Properties Limited Partnership, has requested rezoning about 63 acres in the 4100 block of Castle Hayne Road from rural agricultural to heavy industrial, according to the New Hanover County planning board agenda. It has also requested a special use permit to develop a high-intensity sand mining operation there.
At the planning board's Jan. 10 meeting, the board recommended approval of the rezoning request. The item, however, was continued to the board's March 7 meeting prior to acting on the applicant’s special use permit request, according to county documents.
The request is up again so the applicant and residential neighbors near the site could meet to see if improvements could be made to Sledge Road to lessen potential impacts of work trucks entering and exiting the site, Stephen Coggins, a partner with the Rountree Losee LLP who is representing the property owner, said this week.
The applicant has agreed to pave the dirt road that goes by residential neighborhoods and leads to the proposed mining site, as well as add fencing and a vegetative buffering, Coggins said.
“We think that the project now is much more palatable to all concerned,” Coggins added.
The applicant plans on submitting a detailed site plan for the road and buffering, as well as the results of the environmental testing conducted at the mining site, which is roughly a 90-page report, he said.
A previous application for the sand mine went before the New Hanover County Planning Board in 2014
There have been previous concerns over pollution involving a plume on General Electric's property adjacent to the site, Coggins said. The concerns have been addressed, and the permitting has been done in such a way that the first phase of the operation would not be in the path of the plume, Coggins said previously.
The recent environmental testing has been conducted on the actual site of the proposed first phase of the mining operation, he said, adding that was an expense incurred by the property owner.
A timeline has not been identified for the project, which still has to meet approvals, Coggins said. The property owner would contract out the sand mining operation, he added.
The planning board will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Andre’ Mallette Training Center at the New Hanover County Government Center, 230 Government Center Drive.