Homeowners fight proposal for Pender County sand mine development

Homeowners fight proposal for Pender County sand mine development

HAMPSTEAD, N.C. (WECT) - A group of homeowners are fighting back against a proposal to re-zone over 500 acres of land in Hampstead for the development of sand mines.

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In a letter to adjacent property owners, developer Jamestown Pender LP says the new Hampstead Bypass project slated for construction later this year by the NC DOT will divide the company’s property in a way that no longer allows for mixed-use development.

Originally, the developer planned to build houses on the land.

Jamestown Pender LP is applying for rezoning of the land, which will be approved or denied by Pender County commissioners.

The land is bordered by Highway 17 and the Topsail High School, middle school and elementary school campus on the east, by the Holly Shelter Game Lands to the North, and by Hoover Road and the Castle Bay subdivision to the south.

“Hampstead is now a suburb," said homeowner Stacy Kitt. "Thousands of houses have gone up in the time that they have owned this property and heavy industry and mining is absolutely not in the best interest of the residents here and is completely out of character with the rest of the neighborhood.”

The Castle Bay Property Owner’s Association Board is circulating a petition and planning a strong showing at the developer’s public hearing for adjacent property owners on Tuesday, February 18.

Some homeowners say they don’t want to see the nature of the area changed and are concerned about their property values.

“This is a beautiful, silent neighborhood surrounded my nature,” said Kitt. “So we object to the noise that taking out 500 acres of trees would entail, digging a 500-acre plot of sand and soil down to 10 and 20 feet and the trucks that would have to carry that away. So, in brief, we object to the noise pollution, the air pollution --both from the sand, which causes silica dust, which is a carcinogen, diesel fumes and the particulates in it from the trucks. We object to the noise, we object because it is not at all in keeping with the character of our neighborhood.”

The meeting is at the Hampstead Public Library from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Castle Bay POA Vice President Dennis Gershowitz says they’re prepared to speak before the Pender County planning board and commissioners in the coming months as well.

“We continue to grow as a community and just don’t want this dust flying around in the air for these people, and especially, we have a lot of young kids who are out playing all the time and the environment will just impact their ability to enjoy the kind of air that we’re used to,” Gershowitz said.

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