The Alamance County Commissioners unanimously approved a 12-month moratorium on the land development plan for Snow Camp at their March 1 meeting. The moratorium gives the commissioners additional time to finalize the land development plan and reconsider zoning in Snow Camp.

In the meeting, Commissioner Bill Lashley said the moratorium will allow county commissioners and the planning department time to study the arising issues of heavy industrial development in Snow Camp.

“We need to use this time to go through this moratorium, take the time and study this issue, let folks who maybe didn’t phone us in today or send us something to look at it,” Lashley said. “This is serious, this is big, this going to affect our county going forward.”

This comes after 28 Snow Camp residents voiced their support in a public hearing for implementing a moratorium to protect their communities and agricultural lands from heavy industrial development. 

Snow Camp resident Stephanie Thurman said the Snow Camp area “remains a target for industrial development.”

“As citizens of Alamance County, our county commissioners and the ordinances that you’re responsible for enforcing are the only protections we have against unwanted industrial developments and the pollution, noise and toxins they create,” Thurman said.

According to NoSnowCampMine, a group of Snow Camp residents advocating against the development, two “mega-sites” within 15 miles of  the town were found to be zoned for heavy industry. “Mega-sites” are land development properties obtained by private developers, universities or governments to promote infrastructure and business growth in an area.

The moratorium will temporarily suspend operations of the Snow Camp Rock Quarry, according to Planning Director Tonya Caddle, and cause developers to need approval of a permit in order to operate. The moratorium is also expected to cost between $50,000 and $60,000, according to Caddle.

Commissioner Steve Carter said he wants residents to be heard, and the moratorium will give the county commissioners and the planning board time to meet with residents of Snow Camp to finalize the land development plan.

“We’ve got to try and come up with a way to protect the rights of citizens who want to have self-determination about what they want to do with their property,” Carter said. “And at the time protect citizens who want privacy and clean air.”