Homeowners concerned about future sand mining site in Dorchester

Homeowners concerned about future sand mining site in Dorchester
Updated: Jan. 24, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST
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Dorchester County mining sites (Source: DHEC)
Dorchester County mining sites (Source: DHEC)
Proposed Zion Road mining site (Source: DHEC)
Proposed Zion Road mining site (Source: DHEC)

DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Dorchester County officials will play a role in whether another sand mining site will be established in the County, despite objections from homeowners.

J.R. Wilson Construction Company has requested a "special exception" to set up business along Zion Road in Dorchester for a future mining site.

The issue right now, is that area isn't zoned for that kind of business. It's zoned for an "Absence of Controls" (AC) district, or simply an unincorporated area of the County.

At the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting Tuesday night, County officials heard from people for and against this new mining site. According to those who attended the meeting, the sand mining application was denied unanimously.

"[It's going to] impact to our property values," said Michael Mixson, of Dorchester. "We can't… people here have invested their life income, retired people, to build their homes, nice homes, and they want to retire here for this. This serenity, this quietness, this peacefulness, but we're in jeopardy to lose that right now."

According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control, there are more than 25 mining sites in the County, most in rural areas.

"The ones you see now aren't very close to rural developments," Mixson said. "This one is neighboring right behind our property."

Charlie Potts, the County Administrator, said a major reason the County is home to several mining sites is because of the Edisto River, and the number of sand deposits available.

Mixson said he and others attended the board meeting to express their concerns about this future mining site.

"It's that close, it's going to make an impact on us because of the noise alone," he said. "On occasion we can here the noise from the other land mines right now."

According to Robert Yanity, a spokesperson with DHEC, a permit was received in December 2016 for the new mining site.

"The Mining program is reviewing the mining application and has requested a revised map from the applicant," he said.

The permit states crews intend to mine five acres of land for 10 years. The entrance to the site will be located at the intersection of Zion Road and Old Dam Road.

"I think it's a necessary evil," Mixson said about sand mining sites. "I know you have to have it, but it's not just for Dorchester County. They're going to sell it to anyone who wants to buy dirt."

The processing of the permit will also depend on what decision is made by the County in order to move forward.

Messages for officials at J.R. Wilson Construction Company were not immediately returned.

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