Gray & Sons get green light for new development

Published 10:06 am Tuesday, December 20, 2011

COURTLAND—Southampton County supervisors on Monday paved the way for the expansion of a Courtland-area excavating company.

Supervisors voted 7-0 to rezone six acres from agricultural to light industrial for Gray & Sons’ new shop, office and equipment storage facility at Sunlight and Hancock drives. The six acres is part of a 49-acre tract that runs parallel to Southampton Parkway east of Route 35.

“We are looking to expand, and we’d like to have a shop and a place to call home in Southampton County, and we’re hoping for the opportunity for (additional) employment,” said owner Mitchell Gray.

The company, which does grading, demolition work, and builds driveways and septic systems, is currently operated from Gray’s Shady Brook Trail home outside Courtland.

County Community Development Director Beth Lewis told supervisors the Planning Commission recommended approving the rezoning.

Lewis noted that supervisors earlier this year agreed to rezone two nearby acres off Highway 35 from residential to industrial for a trucking terminal. James and Valerie Prosise of Suffolk requested the rezoning for the former Chemical Leaman trucking terminal, which used to be an auto dealership.

Hancock Peanut Co. is also nearby as are some homes, she added.

Lewis noted that the location of the six acres — along Southampton Parkway’s barrier and abutting a peanut processing facility — makes it unlikely that residential development would take place there.

“I met with residents of Sunlight and nobody was against it,” Gray told supervisors.

In favoring the rezoning, outgoing Supervisor Walt Brown said, “I’m excited to see local homegrown operations expand their business.”