Crowder & White hopes to open sand mine

Published 11:33 am Tuesday, September 4, 2012

FRANKLIN—A Franklin contractor is asking permission to operate a sand mine west of Delaware Road and south of General Thomas Highway outside Franklin.

Crowder & White Contracting will have a public hearing before the Southampton County Planning Commission at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, at the County Office Center in Courtland. The planning commission will make a recommendation for the Board of Supervisors to approve or disapprove what is known as a conditional-use permit, said Beth Lewis, director of community development for the county.

Crowder & White would like to mine sand for commercial use, Lewis said. The property near the Hercules/Ashland plant is zoned for agriculture use, however, with permission from the county, mining could be allowed.

Crowder & White has an agreement to buy 384 acres from FIATP Timber in Atlanta, according to the company’s attorney R. Edward Railey III.

International Paper at one time used the property as a sand mine for maintaining logging roads, Lewis said.

No one from Crowder & White returned a telephone call.

According to the company’s application, 150 acres has been set aside for mining. The property has pits, which Crowder & White plans to expand if approved by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy.

Also according to the application, no blasting will take place and no mining activity will occur between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. or on Sundays. No buildings will be put up and fuel will not be stored on the property since Crowder & White has its office and shop nearby.

The county planning department supports the operation because of its proposed hours of operation, the type of operation without blasting and its location. In addition, the sand will be used for public and private projects, which is an economic advantage for the county.

On the downside, a church and homes abut the property, which may be impacted by truck traffic. The Nottoway river is within the State Scenic Rivers program, and it isn’t possible to determine whether or not this operation will have a visual impact on the river.

Railey said he expects the area to be mined for 15 to 20 years. Access to the property will be from Shady Brook Trail.