North Carolina Newspapers

    Woman
Stops
Developers' Plan For Manufacturing Zone
BY ERIC CARLSON
A Brunswick County housewife
succeeded Monday night in her
grassroots campaign to stop a local
corporation s plan to have property
near her home re-zoned to allow
commercial manufacturing
After a public hearing attended by
several dozen residents of the area,
the Brunswick County Commis
sioners voted 3-to-2, with Jetty
Jones and Donald Shaw disssstias,
J
w a ic-ttniuig u'y
Bay Properties Inc. of Southport.
The three-member corporation
tk? ?L
?---?auijf ;u Tin
zoning of a triangular 58-acre tract
at ihe apex of N.C. 87 and N.C 133
from Commercial Low-Density
(CLD) to Commercial Manufactur
ing. The county planning board
unanimously approved the re-zon
ing. despite former Planning Direc
tor John Harvey's recommendation
against the change.
Chances are, the re-zoning would
have been approved by the county
commissioners if it weren't for
Sabrina Puckett.
Last Dcccmber, she and her hus
band Norman bought a house in
Moore's Creek, a cluster of spacious
homes on large wooded lots just
north of the property in question. A
few weeks later, Norman asked the
county for a building permit to add a
family room and two-car garage to
the house. The request was denied.
That's when the Pucketts discov
? w tltnt (!%???? - J *?
uiut uivii iivi^iiuuiiiuuu was 111
a zone designated for low-density
commercial development. Under the
OD rules, their hnmc was a non
conforming use of the property. Any
improvements to the structure would
have to meet the same public access
requirements as a business, includ
ing ramps for handicapped persons.
When told of the problem, the
county planning department imme
diately recognized that a mistake
had been made and recommended to
i he planning board that the area be
re-zoned residential. The Pucketts
and their neighbors have been told
that the change will be made.
Meanwhile, Long Bay Properties
asked to have its nearby property re
zoned to allow heavier uses than
those permitted in the CLD zone. In
applying for the change, the corpo
ration noted that the zoning map
shows all surrounding lands to be
designated for heavy manufacturing
or commercial uses (including the
AM
l*IWIV 0 ?M VW f.
Faced with the prospect of a com
mercial manufacturing operation
near their homes, the residents of
Moore's Creek turned out in force
earlier this month to ask the county
SO dCuj iaaC ZGuiug ChuugC. ThCj iv"
turned Monday night as ihc commis
sioners held a public hearing and
prepared to vote on the proposal.
Attorney Mason Anderson, repre
senting Long Bay, asked the com
missioners to follow the planning
board's recommendation to approve
the zoning change. Without reveal
ing his client's proposed use for the
land, he said it would be "more than
OPPONENTS and supporters of a proposed zoning change state their cases before the Brunswick
County Commissioners Monday night. The board voted to deny the request from Mason Anderson (be
low), attorney for the developers , for an industrial use of properly near Southport that is bordered on
the north by s residential area where Sabriaa PackdS (above) mu her home.
adequately buffered" from neighbor
ing properties.
He read a letter from the South
port/Oak Island Committee of 100
endorsing the change as a way to at
tract more job-producing industry to
the area.
Aisuciaoi! sjsu aigucu thai the C
M zoning makes sense in that area
because the property i? surrounded
by commercial and heavy manufac
turing (H-M) zones, including the
Sunny Point military munitions ter
n~.ir.ai piupciijr 4Gu feci away. Aiso
nearby is Carolina Power and Light
Company's Brunswick Nuclear
Plant, which is also zoned for heavy
manufacturing.
Sabrina Puckett insisted that the
entire area around the Sunny Point
intersection has been improperly
zoned. That mistake that would only
be compounded by allowing a heav
ier use of the Long Bay property.
she said.
"The rationale for designating this
area as an industrial area is false,"
she told the board. "Sunny Point is
part of the national defense system
and CP&L is a public utilrty li
censed to save the public. Neither
in fact arc competitive indusSics."
Consequently, she said neither
large tract can actually be developed
for heavy manufacturing, as desig
nated on the zoning map. Nor can
the county's zoning ordinance con
troi what the U.S. Government does
on its Sunny Point property.
"So when you look at this map
used by the planning department,
your are just as deceived as the pub
lic into seeing a large amount of
heavy manufacturing that truly does
not exist," she said.
Also in her presentation, Puckett
referred to a letter to the planning
board from one of the developers
stating that "our prospective tenant
and project arc based on the rezon
ing."
Reading from a book on state leg
islative zoning decisions regarding
"spot zoning," she noted that it is il
legal to change zoning "to secure
special benefit* for particular prop
erty owners without regard for the
"?hts of adjacent landowners."
Puckett also read a letter to the
planning board from Health Board
Chairman Patrick Newton, who
owns a mooiic home park across the
road from Long Bay's property. She
said the letter shows that Moores
run rjuas* ? -oaoi nxa
othhhhhhhhhmhhhhhhhmhhhhhhhhmihh
Creek resident? have mann to he
cumxnicu ihai the uxiiincaiai man
ufacturing zone will continue to
grow if the Long Bay property is re
4UDCU.
In his letter, Newton wrote, "I
would expect such a change to estab
lish a precedent that would increase
the probability of allowing my near
by tract to be re-zoned to C-M should
I desire to do so in the future."
Puckett also produced memos
from Harvey to the planning board
advising against the zoning change.
In them he said the CoasUl Area
Management Act (CAMA) Land
Use Plan classifies the Long Bay
property as rural. The state is also
psni
r- ? -m
studying possible cSaagcs to lanes
and highway rtgnts-or-wav in tne
area.
Nearby lands are also being con
sidered for special protection as an
Area of Environmental Concern by
the N.C. Coastal Resources Com
mission, he said.
Harvey recommended that con
sideration of the zone change be de
layed until such time as "the various
studies and actions under way and
suggested for this immediate area
will have clarified and solidified."
In addition to Puckett, 13 others
voiced opposition to the zoning
change. Anderson was the only
speaker in favor of the proposal.
* * *
Thank you for your vote
and support in the
May 3 Primary.
'Doug Simmons
Couniy Commissioner
District 1
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