Environmentalists and economists disagree over land use plan

Economists and environmentalists disagree over land use plans
Economists and environmentalists disagree over land use plans

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Save the Cape has a new plan for a section of Brunswick County land that was originally going to be developed into a super-port.

Toby Bronstein, a Save the Cape co-director, said the organization wants to turn that 600 acre plot of land into a state park.

They presented the plan to a board from North Carolina's State Ports Authority Thursday.

Bronstein said a state park is perfect for the area.

"Brunswick County does not have a state park, which is amazing," said Bronstein.   "The tourism dollars state parks generate across the country are phenomenal.  People love visiting state parks."

She said she thinks the park can have multiple purposes.

"We envision bike paths and walking paths and bridal paths and stables, an outdoor amphitheater for outdoor concerts, camping (areas) for RV hook-ups- the possibilities are really endless," said Bronstein.

She said she was encouraged by the response the presentation got from the ports authority board.

But Brunswick County Officials are fighting back to keep the land zoned as industrial.

County Economic Development Director, Jim Bradshaw is against turning it into a state park.

He thinks it's better for industrial use.

"That site is one of the prime sites on the east coast," said Bradshaw. "It has deep water access, 600 acres of land, and water sewer and natural gasses nearby. So we don't want to give up any potential industrial sites for any other uses."

Bradshaw says that he and the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners plan to meet with the NC Ports Authority about this issue next month.

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