08/06/07 — Wayne Commissioners will eye Case Farms rezoning request

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Wayne Commissioners will eye Case Farms rezoning request

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on August 6, 2007 1:46 PM

After taking most of July off, the Wayne County Board of Commissioners will meet again Tuesday at 9 a.m. after holding a briefing session at 8 a.m.

Kicking the meeting off will be a public hearing at 9:15 a.m., to consider a rezoning request by Case Farms for its 2.98 acres on the northern side of Pecan Road at its intersection with Mitchell Road.

The request, which was forwarded to the commissioners from the county Planning Board with a positive recommendation in June, is asking that Case Farms' property be split between heavy industry and airport industry zones to accommodate both Seymour Johnson Air Force Base's accident potential zone and the company's need to expand its poultry processing plant operations.

The expansion is expected to create about 500 new jobs, said plant manager Brandon Dillard. He also said construction will likely begin in January 2008 and will take anywhere from six to 12 months.

Later in their meeting, the commissioners will hear a presentation from county Sheriff Carey Winders about gangs and drugs in school, and will discuss the Wayne County Comprehensive Plan.

The plan, which was approved by the county Planning Board in June, has been a work in progress for more than a year. It was put together by a citizen steering committee and was vetted in a public forum in May.

"It's a good plan," planning board chairman Wayne Aycock said.

Once it is adopted by the commissioners, explained consultant Glenn Harbeck of Glenn Harbeck Associates in Wilmington, the plan will be used by both the planning board and the commissioners to help make future decisions about growth in Wayne County.

"This is designed for month-to-month use," he said. "The actions can be revised and changed, but the policies need to stand the test of time. They are intended to be used to guide your decisions."

And while those policies don't have to be followed to the letter every time -- they are not ordinances -- county attorney Borden Parker explained that according to state statute, once one of these documents is in place, the county is required to explain how its decisions fit or don't fit into the plan.