May 22, 2014

Marathon meeting postpones
discussion on concrete plant until June 2


A marathon discussion about a proposed concrete plant in Waves held at Monday’s Dare County Board of Commissioners’ meeting went on so long that it had to be carried over to the next meeting.

All 17 members of the public who commented spoke in opposition to the project, said board clerk Gary Gross. A number of them, he said, expressed understanding of the need for the operation, but felt it was at the wrong location.

Representatives from the state Department of Transportation and the concrete company also attended.

At 12:18 a.m., the board voted to recess the meeting until Monday, June 2 at 5 p.m.

In interest of making it easier for those from Hatteras Island who may want to attend, Gross said, the time was changed from the regular schedule of 9 a.m.

Commercial Ready Mix Products Inc. wants to build a concrete plant at the former site of the Dare Building Supply structure in Waves, which is next to 21 residential houses and 21 apartments and across Highway 12 from the REAL Watersports complex. The concrete produced at the plant would be used to build the new bridge over the inlet in Pea Island and for the planned bridge in Rodanthe.

The contractor said that the concrete must be delivered at 75 degrees, and the only practical way to do that is by having the plant close to the construction site. The company estimated that it would be in operation for three to five years.

Last month, the Dare County Planning Board, after voting 4-2 for a negative recommendation – mostly because of potential night noise - sent a conditional use permit to the commissioners to consider. Conditions included limiting the plant’s height to 52 feet; requiring storage of material to be a minimum of 25 feet from the property line and 75 feet from a residence; construction of a 10-foot-high fence that controls hearing any noise above certain decibel levels; shielding outdoor lighting from adjoining property; and using high-tech equipment that eliminates the incessant warning beeping of construction machinery when it’s backing up.  

The tri-villages have S-1 zoning, which is the county’s least restrictive zoning on uses of the property. Under that law, the concrete plant is a permitted use, with or without conditions. The contractor’s representatives have vowed to address noise, light and dust issues the best it can.

But opponents said, in part, that the plant would be loud and disruptive, create dangerous truck traffic and pollute the water, and even S-1 zoning would not permit such an industry at that location. A better place, they suggest, would be at a site behind a gas station in Rodanthe.

County attorney Bobby Outten said last month that he did not believe that the law gave the board the choice to say no to the plant. 

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