Luring industry to the area may have gotten a little easier with the rezoning of a potential site off Heck Norton Road.
The Laurinburg City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to rezone a 56.5-acre property from residential-mobile home to office-institutional.
The rezoning request came from the Scotland County Economic Development Corporation. County Economic Development Director Greg Icard said the development group hopes to attract industry or business to site. The Economic Development Corporation already owns 7.41 acres in the area.
“If you don’t rezone it, I can’t market it,” Icard told council. “I can’t go to a company and say give me three months to rezone. They won’t even entertain the idea.”
But not everyone was keen to the idea of rezoning.
Dannie Hill was one of two people speaking in opposition to the zone change.Hill expressed a number of concerns about changes to the land which is adjacent to her home. She said no one has said what type of business might locate next door and she is fearful of an increase in traffic, noise and odor.
“This property is is right at the back of my land,” said Hill, who has lived there since 1977. “I’m not going to be able to look at anything but that business.I worked hard all my life to have something. I don’t think it is right to rezone a business into a residential area.”
City officials said that any industry locating at the site would be required to erect a buffer between it and adjacent property owners.
“I can assure you that your comments will be taken into consideration,” Mayor Tommy Parker told Hill. “Bear with us, I think you will be pleased.”
The Laurinburg Planning Board deadlocked on the request in a 3-to-3 vote in December.
At the planning board meeting, Icard was asked why existing industrial sites in the county could not be used before developing new sites.
Icard said existing sites are unable to meet the needs of the current markets because of age and lack of utilities.
In other business, the council voted to authorize the a memorandum of understanding between the city and the town of Maxton to install fiber optic cables to the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport.
Also Tuesday, the council set two public hearings on Feb. 19. One was to consider a request for a conditional use permit to operate a carnival off US 401 bypass. The other hearing was to consider a rezoning request fro a property at 328 Douglas Street. The proposed change would take the property from residential to office-institutional.