RED SPRINGS — A group of Robeson County residents has filed an appeal asking a county Superior Court judge to review their effort to stop a sand-mining operation in the Philadelphus community.
Superior Court Judge Robert Floyd Jr. on Feb. 14 dismissed a lawsuit by the Philadelphus Presbyterian Foundation Inc. and several others against the Robeson County Board of Commissioners, which granted a conditional-use permit that Buie Lakes Plantation needs to operate the sand mine. Floyd dismissed the lawsuit, saying that it did not include the actual name of the development company.
Gates Harris, an attorney for the petitioners, said after the dismissal that Buie Lakes Plantation was not included in the original list of respondents because the petitioners were uncertain if the company was a certified corporation in North Carolina and if it was permitted to do work within the state. The appeal was filed Tuesday.
Buie Lakes LLC plans to establish a sand-mining operation in a Residential-Agricultural zone off Buie-Philadelphus Road. The company has said it will construct a $22 million processing facility to clean and remove iron from the sand that will be used to make solar panels. The operation is expected to bring in more than $200,000 in property taxes every year and create 36 jobs.
But those who have filed the lawsuit say they don’t believe that the processing facility will be built, saying that Buie Lakes will mine the sand and then transport it to be processed. They say the truck traffic will be hazardous, and that the operation doesn’t blend in with the local community, some of which is considered historic.
Buie Lakes said only 125 acres of the 500-acre tract would be mined. The company had previously proposed to develop a subdivision on the property, but shifted course when the economy went bad.