Commissioners approve Oakboro rezoning request

ALBEMARLE — With a 7-0 vote, the Stanly County Board of Commissioners approved a rezoning request Monday night that increases the likelihood of a pipe foundry being developed in Oakboro. 

Oakmont Acquisition LLC, a subsidiary of Charlotte Pipe and Foundry, requested that a portion of its 16.88-acre tract of land on 8504 Swift Road in Oakboro be changed from a residential agricultural (RA) zone to a heavy industrial (M2) zone.  

At the meeting, the request was presented by county planner Bailey Emrich, who provided information on Oakmont’s presence in Oakboro. Oakmont owns 33 parcels of land in the area — including three parcels from the new project — and the property to the north, south and east of the area is already zoned for manufacturing usage.  

Speaking on behalf of Oakmont, attorney Charles Brown mentioned that 11 other pending rezoning applications from the company will be addressed at the next Oakboro Town Council meeting in two weeks. 

“We have the potential for economic growth here like we have not seen in our lifetime,” Brown said. “We’re not making any announcement tonight of any opening or moving forward with construction. Merely, this is an integral part of our rezoning.” 

Brown introduced Mike Hall, Charlotte Pipe’s senior vice president of cast iron, and Trent Tucker, senior vice president of plastics, to support the rezoning application.  

“That company was founded 120 years ago — it is a solid North Carolina, national and international company,” Brown said. “Management of the company is known far and wide for their highest integrity, honesty and fairness, and 35% of its workforce lives here in the county.” 

Brown also brought up a handful of local homeowners who approved the rezoning process, including Brett Barbee of 16321 Buster Road, Bart Barbee of 21657 Carriker Road, and Darren Clark of 8360 Swift Road. 

Wayne Coble of 8485 Swift Road, was the rezoning request’s lone dissenter, mentioning concerns about possible groundwater contamination, traffic and hazardous waste resulting from the project. Coble is the owner of a 57.49-acre piece of land across the street from Oakmont’s parcel. 

“I have some major concerns regarding the type of businesses that are allowed with the M2 zoning,” Coble said. “Facilities such as a junkyard, a chemical plant, a mixing plant, wholesale storage of gasoline products, and other types of dirty facilities are allowed. I would like to see the site plans for this industrial facility.” 

Coble also voiced a complaint that another property across the road had been rezoned without him being given notification, saying that he also contested that rezoning because he wasn’t given a chance to state his concerns about that situation.  

Following the public hearing, the rezoning motion was approved by Vice Chairman Ashley Morgan and seconded by Commissioner Bill Lawhon. The Stanly County Planning and Zoning Board had previously approved this new zoning designation.