Residents upset about potential rezoning for sand mine

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CASTLE HAYNE, NC (WWAY) — Some Castle Hayne residents are not happy with a proposed project in their community. Back in 2014, Hilton Properties was approved for a mining permit, Now, they are trying to get the land rezoned from residential to industrial.

Hilton Properties owns a 63 acre plot of land in Castle Hayne that sits next to the GE plant. Residents say GE used to dump hazardous waste in the area in the 1960s and 1970s.

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Now, they are worried this new sand mine will cause some of this hazardous waste to resurface.

“This is my community. This is where I live. You have no right to go near it,” said Robert Simon, who lives in Castle Hayne and is upset about the potential rezone.

Dozens of Castle Hayne residents gathered Wednesday night at the Saint James AME Church.



“When you break ground on any project, I don’t care what type of project it is, you don’t know what’s going to turn up. You’re going to dig a hole, and all of a sudden you’re going to say, ‘Oh god. We didn’t expect this,'” said Simon.

Residents are fighting against a rezoning proposal for a sand mine that they say hits too close to home.

“I’m concerned about the dump truck traffic that’s going to be going, they say 20 to 30 trips an hour. That’s every minute. That’s not a paved road. I don’t know if paving it would solve the problem, but it’s going to be dusty and noisy,” said Susan Murphy, who’s house backs up to the property where the sand mine could be built.

Robert Simon and Susan Murphy are just a few Castle Hayne residents against Hilton Properties building a sand mine near their homes. The sand mine will allow businesses to purchase this sand.

Hazardous contamination, environmental disruptions and traffic were among the biggest concerns with residents. An attorney representing the company disagrees and says the sand mine would be beneficial for everyone.

“We want to be able to show the public necessity of the sand that we need in this community desperately with the projected 66% growth between now and 2040,” said Steve Coggins, who is representing Hilton Properties.

Coggins says the company plans to monitor the sand mine to make sure there is no contamination over time. But Simon says if the property next to GE gets rezoned for a sand mine, the overall community will be destroyed.

“My wife and I came here, specifically because we wanted ot live in a peaceful community where we could relax, retire eventually and have a quality of life. all of a sudden now, all of that is changing,” said Simon.

Coggins says they hope to go in front of the New Hanover County Planning Board in January.