Council approves rezoning requests

Published 5:16 pm Tuesday, April 19, 2022

AHOSKIE – Two vacant buildings here will soon find new life.

At their regularly scheduled last week, the five members of the Ahoskie Town Council voted unanimously in favor of two separate rezoning requests, one to allow the start-up of a new business and the other to expand the operational space of an existing business at a new location.

The first approved request was to rezone property located at 705 East Sunset Avenue from Industrial to Office & Institution. That property is a two-story brick building that was once the office of Dr. D.R. Lang Jr. (MD). The building has been empty since 2010.

The current owners, Casey and Lola Peele, requested the rezoning with the intent to use the building as a respite care facility that will temporarily house children (up to age 17) pending their placement to more permanent facility or for reunification with family.

The second request was to rezone 3.22 acres of land located at 1525 US 13 South (across from Bojangles) from Light Industrial to Heavy Industrial. It is on this property (the old Maola Milk building, currently owned by Integrated Holdings, LLC of Greenville) where Sharp Energy wishes to expand locally by relocating its Ahoskie office as well as installing propane tanks. Sharp Energy, located in Dover, Delaware, recently purchased Diversified Energy. The Ahoskie office of that company is currently located in rental space at 801 East Memorial Drive.

Andy Daughtrey, representing Sharp Energy, attended last week’s Town Council meeting to answer any questions about the company’s plans to expand.

“We want to re-do that facility (the old Maola plant), to include installing propane tanks from where our delivery trucks will be filled to go out for delivery to our residential and commercial customers,” Daughtrey told the Council members.

Councilman Roy Sharpe asked how close would the propane tanks be to the highway.

“They will not be close to the highway; they will placed at the rear of the property,” Daughtrey answered.

Daughtrey added that he understood the concerns that the public may have with propane storage tanks.

“Over the history of having propane storage tanks in and around Ahoskie over the past 40 years or so, nothing has ever happened to cause a problem,” Daughtrey noted, mentioning the Amerigas facility on US 13 south of town, Ferrell Gas on NC 42 west of town, and Jernigan Oil and Propane located between Johnny Mitchell Road and Jernigan Airport Road south of town.

“There are residences and businesses located close to those businesses,” he said. “Nothing has happened yet, but that’s not to say it couldn’t, but we all are a very safe business. We are regulated by the Department of Agriculture and they check on us on a regular basis. We’re always on top of things. We are proactive because we want to remain in business by doing things the right way.”

The approved rezoning request included a permit to allow for a propane storage tank or tanks.

Following earlier public hearings, the Ahoskie Planning Board, at separate meetings, recommended approval of both rezoning requests. Adjacent property owners of both tracts considered for rezoning were notified of those public hearings.


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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