Sometimes it’s difficult for homeowners to deal with their neighbors, particularly if the land use that’s right next door is something other than residential.
Mixing land uses can be a challenge for community planners, as area’s prosper and grow or simply change over time for a variety of reasons.
A garage that works on truck engines may not be the best neighbor next to a daycare. A party store that sells beer and wine is perhaps not the best neighbor for a house of worship.
Image that one day a business enterprise — of an industrial flavor — wants to set up shop right next door to your house.
It’s certainly understandable that you’d be concerned about the future of the changing neighborhood.
And so, we are sympathetic to the worries expressed by several residents of the Wayman Chapel neighborhood in Hamlet, who attended the county’s Planning Board meeting this week to talk about a proposed mining operation and its potential impact on the area.
At the conclusion of the public hearing, the company making the request got the approval vote it needed, but not before residents got their chance to ask questions and express concerns — what we see as perfectly legitimate concerns on the whole.
Barnhill Contracting Company was requesting a conditional use permit to start a mining operation located along Wayman Chapel Road. The company is planning to expand its current sand mining enterprise into a new 28-acre property.
There are conditions built into the permit that should result in total site reclamation — a plus for the folks who will continue to live in that area.
According to Barnhill representative Benjamin Car, the permit is a 10-year permit, and after the mining is completed the land must be restored back to pasture land, according to the company’s bond. The sand will only be used at its asphalt plant, he said.
“We won’t be mining every day,” Carr told county planners. “Just based on needs. It would be only for us — we are not selling it.”
Resident Kim McCall spoke during the hearing. Her property and home sit directly beside the area to be mined. “I am the person that’s in front of you … How deep will the hole be? How close is Barnhill going to be from my backyard? What are you using?”
We are encouraged by the company’s landscaping plans which include a type of barrier between the mining and the nearby residential uses.
Carr said the sand mining would create a hole about 15 feet deep, which would be surrounded by a 25-foot-wide berm, 6 feet tall.
“The buffer in place will be to protect landowners,” Carr explained. “We’ll put up a berm to screen what we are doing. We’ll be using a big shovel, no explosives.”
McCall said she was concerned about possible damage to her home’s foundation, and well water. Carr said there would be no damage to her foundation and the mining operation should not affect the water table because they won’t be digging that deep.
Carr did his best to assure the residents that the company would do what it can to be a good neighbor.
We are hopeful that the promises made are promises kept.