MOTSU talks land use, buffer zones, future developments during public meetings


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — One of the largest military terminals in the world sits in Brunswick County and for the second time this year, they are working to educate the public about what it is they do and how it could affect the community.

It’s part of a joint land use study by the Cape Fear Council of Governments in conjuction with Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point (MOTUS) along with New Hanover and Brunswick counties and several municipalities.

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There were two meetings held Tuesday, one in Boiling Spring Lakes and another in Carolina Beach. Both aimed to educate the public about how land in Brunswick and New Hanover counties is used by Sunny Point and how that could affect residents.

“We want to be good neighbors, we want to promote economic growth,” MOTSU Commander Col. Heather Carlisle said. “We want to be fully transparent on what we do and help the communities as much as we can.”

MOTUS officials held a presentation in Boiling Spring Lakes explaining buffer zones, potential safety issues as ammunition and explosives are transported, and how land near explosion buffer zones can be developed.

This is the second meeting MOTSU has held this year.

The first, back in July, was focused on helping the public understand what the terminal is used for and dispelling rumors.

“People thought, is Sunny Point trying to grow and take other people’s land? So we were able to dispel some of those myths, that nope, we’re not trying to grow, we’re not trying to take anyone’s land, we’re just trying to be good neighbors.”

MOTSU then headed to Carolina Beach for another meeting. Mayor Joe Benson says he thinks neighbors were satisfied with the outcome.

“Whatever the joint land use study derives at the end, the recommendations, they’re exactly that. They’re not a mandate from the federal government that a municipality should go and do a certain thing,” said Benson.

Benson adds there may also be potential benefits for the town.

“Maybe we have an opportunity to finally put that water tank that we need, so desperately need, with a growing population, on a piece of property on Sunny Point’s buffer zone,” said Benson. “That benefits us and is in compliance with the uses of land for federal property.”

Benson says the audience for this meeting was smaller than the one in July.

He believes this is because most people had their questions answered the first time.

He encourages anyone else with questions to attend the next meeting in April.