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Back You are here: Home News Local and State News Local Carolina Beach Council Cancels Own Permit Request For Storage Yard

Carolina Beach Council Cancels Own Permit Request For Storage Yard

The Carolina Beach Town Council voted last week to cancel a proposal to locate a Town-owned outdoor storage yard on Spartanburg Avenue in a quiet residential part of Town.

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Town Council canceled a public hearing for a Town-owned outdoor storage yard on Spartanburg Avenue at their October 9th, meeting.
The Town has to relocate their Operations Department (Public Works) from land owned by the U.S. Army off Dow Road. The Town was planning to locate an outdoor storage yard on undeveloped property on Spartanburg Avenue. Residents were upset citing the impact it would have on the quiet neighborhood and their property values.
The Town's Planning and Zoning Commission voted to recommend denying the Town's request to use the property on Spartanburg Avenue at their September 13, meeting.
The military land was leased to the Town in the early 1970's by the Army with a condition that it only be used for a wastewater treatment plant and associated uses including a storage building and outside storage area. Over the years other uses became routine on the property. Earlier this year the Town was notified they were in violation of their lease and had to remove all uses not permitted under that lease. The Army is demanding the Town comply by the end of 2012. The "buffer zone" is land owned by the U.S. Army for the Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point (MOTSU) across the Cape Fear River in Brunswick County. The port deals in ammunition and the buffer zone serves as a "blast zone" in the event of an incident. The zone covers the largest area of land west of Dow Road in Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Fort Fisher.
The Town was given until the end of June to present a plan for compliance to remove items stored for auction, multiple storage buildings, FEMA trailer, marine vessels, generators, undercarriage water station, maintenance shop and multiple dumpsters and retention pond.
Owens advised the Council in August that one option would be to get a zoning permit to relocate a "lay-down" storage area near Greenville and Spartanburg Avenues on residential property currently owned by the Town.
Owens said other potential locations such as behind Town Hall or purchasing land elsewhere require time which is limited. A short-term option would be renting space in a local shopping center.
A plan to comply with the lease by the end of the year was submitted to the Army in September. The Army responded saying the Town must comply by the end of the year but did extend the deadline for removal of trash dumpsters until March.
At the Council's October 9th, meeting Council member Sarah Friede said, "Based on conversations last week at our Council meeting... my understanding from discussion at that meeting was no one on Council had requested that. No one had indicated that we wanted to put a government facility at 617 Spartanburg."
Friede made a motion to withdraw the permit request.
Councilman Lonnie Lashley said, "This was put on by our Town Manager. We as a Council probably, going through the Sunny Point thing finding a place for our employees and storing things, so Tim put this on there as an option. We asked him to look at everything that he could look at. So I commend him for putting this on as an option. It's not an option I think Council agrees with."
Councilman Bob Lewis said he's been at all of the meetings on the Sunny Point issue and Council talked about, "Bring us back some options. We didn't say go out and change the zoning for people in single-family home residences. We basically said, give us some options. All of a sudden... comes this application for a conditional use permit, we spent money... taxpayer money on doing a site plan which I don't think we should have ever spent."
Lewis explained, "I've never been supportive of this" and expected options, but not a request for a permit, "So we can dump a bunch of stuff back there in a residential area. You come and tell me that, you don't have to go and get a site plan, put the application together, advertise in the newspaper, we spent money on something... I've never heard one person on Council support it" and, "I'm not real happy with the whole situation but I'm for removing or retracting this application."
Friede said since the application isn't consistent with the Town's Land Use Plan, the Council would not be able to approve it to begin with. She said because it's a residential neighborhood, "It's not an adequate place to" store materials.
Councilman Steve Shuttleworth said, "We had a meeting last week where we went through a lot of different proposals. You showed us a lot of different properties. This was one of the them. That was the process I thought we were going through. I never understood how we ended up with a" conditional use permit application. He said the Council had talked about the lots on Spartanburg Avenue, but never more than an option. He said the process has agitated the residents when the Council was still looking at other options.
Town Manager Tim Owens said the process was started as an option because, "If we don't do that and we wait until November then it's too late. I respect that you guys don't want to use that property."
Shuttleworth said, "I think the appropriate thing might have been to come to us before you sprung a conditional use permit on the neighbors. We had no idea there was a CUP being applied for and a simple heads up probably would have gotten you a pretty quick answer from everyone that that's not something we would have supported."
The Council voted unanimously to cancel the hearing. Mayor Ray Rothrock was not present at the meeting.
Later in the meeting the Council continued discussion of where to relocate their Operations Department prior to the December deadline issued by the Army. Several locations where discussed including relocating employee offices to Town Hall in the Police Department's training room and finding storage area at the Federal Point Shopping Center, behind Town Hall or at another location. Owens said he will continue exploring those options.