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Landfill approval takes first step

AHOSKIE – An approved text change within Ahoskie’s Zoning Ordinance has opened the door for a landfill.

At Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting, the Ahoskie Town Council, on a motion from O.S. “Buck” Suiter Jr. and a second from Malcolm Copeland, gave their stamp of approval to a text change.

That approval came following a public hearing, one concerning a request made by Rose Brothers Paving Company, Inc. who applied for the zoning ordinance text change as they seek to place a Land Clearing and Inert Debris Landfill on property they own on Commercial Road.

While the property is not inside the Ahoskie corporate limits, it is within the town’s ETJ (Extra Territorial Jurisdiction), meaning it is regulated by town code.

Prior to the public hearing, Ahoskie Town Manager Tony Hammond explained what types of materials would be placed in the proposed landfill. He noted disposal is limited to land clearing waste, concrete, brick, concrete block, uncontaminated soil, gravel and rock, untreated and unpainted wood and yard trash. He further explained that yard trash is solid waste resulting from landscaping and yard maintenance, such as brush, grass, tree limbs and similar vegetative materials.

“This area would be for the private use of Rose Brothers Paving only,” Hammond said.

Hammond added that none of the three adjacent property owners had any major issues with a landfill of this type. He said the Ahoskie Planning Board had approved the request to change the ordinance text and forwarded their decision to the town council.

“In our current zoning ordinance, we do not list a category that describes this type of facility,” Hammond said. “If you decide to approve this request, we will add such language to the ordinance that accurately describes this type of landfill.”

He added that the site is currently zoned Light Industry and is at the end of Commercial Road (approximately two-tenths of one mile off NC 42 near the Poortown community).

“Rose Brothers has applied for a permit from the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in order to create and operate a landfill of this nature,” Hammond said. “The decision to grant or deny that permit is in the hands of DENR. Your only part in this is to grant or deny the text change in our zoning ordinance.”

Hammond added that DENR needed a decision from the Ahoskie Town Council in regards to the zoning text change before they can act on the measure.

W. Reid Clark, representing Rose Brothers, said his company must adhere to all DENR regulations if the landfill was permitted to operate. He said the landfill will be surrounded by an 8-foot fence as well as a dirt mound barrier, similar to the one they own and operate in the Murfreesboro area.

“The state says the landfill can only cover two acres,” Clark said. “It doesn’t make any difference if we have 100 acres back there, the landfill can only cover two acres.”

The tax listing on that property shows Rose Brothers owns 5.6115 acres on Commercial Road.

When asked by Copeland about what happens when that two acres is full, Clark said nothing else could be added.

“We will recycle the material at the landfill in order to free-up space,” Clark said.

Councilwoman Elaine Myers addressed the visibility issue, saying she was pleased to hear that the proposed landfill would be surrounded by a barrier.

“It doesn’t sound like anyone is opposed to this, even the adjacent landowners,” Suiter said prior to making a motion to approve the text change.