A rock quarry is slated to open just outside Goldston town limits, even if Chatham County denies the owner’s zoning request. Residents have expressed concerns about the quarry since it was first announced in 2014.
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A rock quarry is slated to open just outside Goldston town limits, even if Chatham County denies the owner’s zoning request.
For a month, public hearing notices have lined the Daurity Spring Quarry’s 220-acre property along Goldston’s Main Street, alerting local residents to a public hearing. The company has requested the zoning for the property be changed from residential to heavy industrial, causing backlash from community members on social media.
Residents have expressed concerns about the quarry since it was first announced in 2014. Little Texas Farms, which owned the land, is owned by the Patterson Exploration Services of Sanford.
Originally, the company hoped to remove between 800,000 to 1 million tons of rock from the site. The group noted back in 2014 it would likely create 12 jobs, but the project is only now taking shape.
The quarry land was zoned residential by Chatham County when county-wide zoning was instituted in 2016. Any land that was not developed or in use was provided the zoning designation of residential/ agriculture at the time.
In August, Daurity Springs Quarry acquired the property and began working to rezone it to heavy industrial.
Chatham Commissioners are scheduled to meet Monday to vote on the rezoning, but it may not have a choice. According to Chatham County Planning Director Jason Sullivan, Daurity Springs acquired its mining permit from N.C. Dept. of Environmental Quality (N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, at the time) prior to county-wide zoning, meaning the county cannot interfere with the mining process.
If the zoning change is denied anyway, the site would still be allowed to operate as a quarry and “non-conforming” property, according to Sullivan. However, if Daurity Springs wished to sell or re-develop the property for a different use, once the quarry was exhausted, the project would still be zoned residential.
Activity at the site combined with the public hearing notices have reignited a Facebook page – Goldston/Bear Creek Against Daurity Rock Quarry – created four years ago by community members to oppose the quarry. Posts on the page cite increased traffic, noise, pollution, vibrations caused by heavy equipment and the impact of run-off to the water table.
In addition, residents were concerned about the effect the quarry would have on property values and the rural character of the small town of Goldston.
Goldston Mayor Tim Cunnup said the town has had little input since the site is just south of town limits. He voiced similar concerns to the Facebook group about side effects of the mining.
“All I can do is hope we are getting a good neighbor,” he said.
Cunnup voiced concerns about the possible effect the quarry could have on Goldston’s residents – noise, dust, traffic – adding he hoped the group would be “good neighbors about those issues.”
The public hearing on the zoning request will take place at 6 p.m. on Dec. 17 at the Historic Chatham County Courthouse in Pittsboro.