Public hearing slated prior to road closures

Published 10:18 am Monday, October 24, 2016

JACKSON – The Northampton County Board of Commissioners voted Monday to hold a public hearing regarding the closure of two state maintained roads near Pendleton.

The property owners of Princeton Farms, on which the two roads are located, requested that state roads 1352 (Princeton Farm Road) and 1353 (Stephenson Road) be removed from the state road system and closed.

In separate, but identical letters, landowners Richard Stiner and Donny L. Lassiter wrote, “We believe that this will increase the integrity of the farm by more effectively preventing trespassing, garbage dumping, unauthorized hunting and fishing, and potential damage to farm equipment, including irrigation.

“We are committed to preserving the natural resources,” they wrote, “and protecting the crops that are grown on this farm. As landowners, we will agree to maintain the gravel roads, ditch banks, and shoulders as needed.”

County Manager Kimberly Turner said that in March the board sent the request to NCDOT, which reviewed the request in June and removed the two roads from the state road system.

The commissioners now want to close the roads and their vote on Monday was to schedule a public hearing on the matter at 10:05 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 7.

The board also voted again to amend the zoning ordinance Monday to allow slaughterhouses in Agricultural Residential (AR) zoning districts if specific criteria are met.

The board held a public hearing Oct. 3 on the slaughterhouse issue, which was passed, but because one commissioner, Virginia Spruill, was absent had to schedule another vote for Oct. 17.

Robert Carter was absent for this vote, which otherwise passed unanimously.

Part of the ordinance that was changed called for stringent buffer requirements.

The amended ordinance says: “Live animals transported to the premises for processing shall be penned in facilities constructed, operated and maintained in accordance with standards established and/or promulgated by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, and, not more than forty (40) animals in cumulative total shall be penned on the premises during any single week ( beginning Sunday and ending Saturday), Pen facilities shall be located in the rear of the building containing the custom slaughter facility.”

The ordinance further says: “Domestic Wastewater must be disposed of in a Municipal or Community Sewer System, or in an Approved On-Site System. Evidence of such must be demonstrated by a permit, letter of intent or a letter of compliance from the appropriate governing body.”