Berkeley County planners favor Martin Marietta rezoning request

The Berkeley County Planning Commission made a recommendation to County Council last night in favor of a rezoning request that would expand the Martin Marietta limestone quarry in Jamestown. But, there are a few conditions.

Rezoning meetings

All meetings are held in the Assembly Room at the Berkeley County Administration Building, 1003 Highway 52, Moncks Corner:

Date Time Gov. Body Action

Aug. 12 6:30 p.m. Land Use (Council) Recommendation

and first reading

Aug. 26 6:30 p.m. Council First reading*

Sept. 9 6:30 p.m. Land Use Recommendation

and second reading Sept. 23 6:30 p.m. Council Second reading*

Oct. 14 6:30 p.m. Land Use Recommendation

and third reading

Oct. 28 6:30 p.m. Council Public hearing and

third reading*

*—Public Input allowed

Contact: Eric Greenway, Berkeley County planning director at egreenway@berkeleycountysc.gov.

Note: Dates are subject to change based upon previous actions by appointed or elected bodies.

Martin Marietta Materials Real Estate Investments Inc. and Martin Marietta Materials Inc. have filed a petition to rezone about 395 acres of their property from an agricultural district to a heavy industrial district.

Martin Marietta is the nation’s second-largest producer of construction aggregates used mostly in the making of highways and other infrastructure. Its headquarters is in Raleigh, and its Jamestown location mines limestone.

The Jamestown plant can expand only if Berkeley County Council approves the rezoning request, because mining can occur only in a heavy industrial zone.

The property in question borders the current mining site, which is in the Francis Marion National Forest and was purchased by the company about a year ago with the intention to expand. Martin Marietta officials said their reason for expanding is to access quality limestone used by entities such as the Department of Transportation to make concrete and asphalt.

After hearing comments by attorney Chris Louden and a presentation by Paxton Badham for Martin Marietta, Jamestown resident Donna Shuler-Rodin was allowed to ask the company questions in reference to community concerns, such as water quality and noise.

Representatives from the South Carolina Environmental Law Project and the Coastal Conservation League spoke in opposition of the rezoning, but Berkeley County Planning Director Eric Greenway said that environmental issues are handled by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control. No one from the community spoke in favor of the rezoning.

The commission’s recommendation includes: creating a 300-foot buffer from the Santee River to the mining site; clarifying what will be allowed on the property for purposes of future land owners; working with the Department of Transportation to create signage to warn drivers rounding a nearby curve of the plant entrance; and making blasting records available to the public.

The commission agreed to the recommendation unanimously.

Martin Marietta was receptive to working with the county on these concerns.

Greenway reminded the community that this is just a recommendation. Berkeley County Council has the final say and could choose not to take these conditions into consideration. He said the rezoning request came to him in May and a decision could be made in October, depending on the actions of county officials.

Reach Jade McDuffie at 937-5560 or jmcduffie@postandcourier.com.

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