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After Storage Yard Proposal Canceled; Town To Sell Spartanburg Properties

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CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Town Council voted last week at their October 9, meeting to cancel a proposed conditional use permit request by the Town of Carolina Beach to locate an outdoor storage yard at 617 Spartanburg Avenue on Town owned property.
Many residents were upset the Town was even considering a storage yard on that quiet residential street.
Later the same evening the Council voted to put the four lots on the market for sale.
The 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.
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.
Following a closed session near the end of the meeting, Shuttleworth said, "We are going to make a motion to put the four lots on Spartanburg on the market and direct the Town Manager to seek a real estate professional that would offer the properties for sale and negotiate the fee involved with that. Those would be done as quickly as possible and marketed subject to clear title."
The Council voted unanimously.