Sand pit gets supervisors’ approval

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 3, 2008

COURTLAND—Striking an amicable tone despite the disagreement that brought them together, two parties on opposite sides of a zoning issue agreed during a public hearing Monday on alterations intended to make a proposed sand pit a better neighbor.

After helping to broker the deal between a representative of Warren Enterprises Sand & Clay Mine and the company’s closest neighbor on St. Luke’s Road, Southampton County supervisors voted unanimously to approve a five-year permit to operate the borrow pit.

Neighbor John McNamara worried about the dust that would be raised by the Berlin-area borrow pit and the proximity to his own property of a small portion of the 29-acre mining operation.

Hearing those concerns, members of the Board of Supervisors questioned Warren representative Lloyd Jones on possible solutions to McNamara’s concerns.

&uot;I would be really upset to live next door to an operation that put dust on everything five days a week,&uot; commented Berlin-Ivor District Supervisor Ronald West.

Jones said he and his client understood McNamara’s worries.

&uot;We want to address those points,&uot; he added, suggesting that a 10-foot berm be built between the properties and planted with vegetation to help keep dust off McNamara’s property.

Jones also volunteered to &uot;back off&uot; on the borrow pit’s boundaries near the McNamara property by an amount that would reduce the entire operation by five acres.

Supervisors agreed to issue a conditional use permit for the sand pit with those conditions and others previously recommended by the county’s Planning Commission: hours of operation from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; only one entrance and exit, as defined in a plan submitted to the county; a 100-foot buffer from a nearby stream; compliance with Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy requirements; and expiration of the permit in five years.