Rezoning request earns favorable vote
WINTON – By unanimous vote, the Hertford County Board of Commissioner approved a rezoning request at their regularly scheduled meeting here Monday morning.
The property is an 18-acre tract along the southside of NC 42 west of Ahoskie, just beyond the intersection of Bonner Bridge Road. That tract is owned by Tommy V. Castelow and Melissa A. Castelow.
A request from Kenny Habul was made by Linda Nwadike of Sun Energy 1 to rezone that property from its current Residential/Agricultural status to Light Industrial.
A public hearing was conducted July 10 by the Hertford County Planning Board regarding the rezoning request. There it was mentioned that Sun Energy wanted to construct a commercial size warehouse on the aforementioned property in an effort to support the company’s installation of a large scale solar now under construction off NC 11 near Millennium. It was also mentioned that part of the 18 acres could be used as a solar farm.
Both the construction and use of a warehouse and a solar farm are among the 34 permitted uses in a Light Industrial zone.
The Hertford County Planning Board approved the request and forwarded their recommendation to the Board of Commissioners for their final consideration.
Prior to the commissioners conducting their public hearing on the rezoning at their Monday meeting, Josephine Green, Senior Administrative Assistant for the Planning Board, said the land is favorable for a Light Industrial District, to include a peculiar suitability to serve the intended purposes of such a district.
Green added there was no one voicing opposition to the rezoning request during the public hearing held last month by the Planning Board. However, one adjacent landowner did voice concerns, during a phone call after the hearing, to all the permitted uses in that district.
“Is this (rezoning) consistent with our Land Use Plan,” asked Commissioner Ronald Gatling.
“Yes, the plans were reviewed and found to be consistent with that Land Use Plan,” Green replied.
Nwadike also attended Monday’s meeting and offered a brief overview of the plans that Sun Energy 1 has for the property.
“We are asking for the rezoning to utilize a portion of that property for a warehouse,” she told the Commissioners. “We need the warehouse to store materials used in the construction of solar farms in the local area.”
Charles “Chuck” Revelle, legal counsel for the commissioners, reminded the board that they did not need to consider what is being planned for the property, but rather if all the uses in a Light Industrial District are appropriate.
“That’s why there is a long list of uses in such a district,” Revelle told the board. “You have to consider all potential uses in that district to show that it’s consistent with our Land Use Plan. Once you approve it, any of the things permitted in a Light Industrial District can be built there.”
Commissioner Johnnie Ray Farmer stated that plans to build a warehouse bodes well for the future relationship between the county and Sun Energy 1, a firm with several solar farms in Hertford County.
“It gives them a permanent location, other than building a solar farm and leaving the county,” Farmer noted.
Farmer offered a motion to approve the rezoning request. After a second from Commissioner Bill Mitchell, the request was approved without objection.