Horry County ZBA Reverses Thompkins Decision

By Paul Gable

At its regular meeting May 11, 2015, the Horry County ZBA (Zoning Board of Appeals) reversed a decision to allow DT LLC to accept third party C&D debris for crushing at its Pine Island site.

The board voted 5-3 at its April 13, 2015 meeting that an “acceptable accessory use of the applicant (DT LLC) made the acceptance of outside (third party) loads of recoverable materials” permissible.

The April vote overturned a decision by the Horry County Zoning Administrator that accepting third party recoverable materials was not an acceptable accessory use.

DT LLC has been operating in the Pine Island community since 1981. It is currently owned by Dennis Thompkins, son of the founder Arthur Thompkins.

After the April decision, an outcry erupted from groups opposed to the decision. The Pine Island community has long been beset with problems from heavy equipment operations such as rock crushing, concrete batch plants and asphalt plants in its area.

Within a week of the April vote, sources familiar with the issue said the vote would be reconsidered at the May meeting. A motion to reconsider must be brought by a member who voted on the prevailing side on the original vote.

The May meeting was called to order and the Horry County ZBA immediately voted to go into executive session. After a fairly lengthy executive session, the board reconvened in open session.

When the minutes of the April meeting were considered for approval, a motion to reconsider the DT LLC vote of April was seconded and passed by an 8-0 vote.

The board then voted 8-0 to uphold the original decision by the Horry County Zoning Administrator that accepting third party C&D waste for processing is not an allowed accessory use on the DT LLC land.

According to sources familiar with the issue, this vote will not bring an end to the controversy. Word was out Monday night that Thompkins will appeal the decision of the Horry County ZBA to circuit court.

Additionally, Thompkins attorney, reportedly, had previously sent a letter to Horry County officials threatening a lawsuit against members of the Horry County ZBA and Horry County Solid Waste Authority officials, if the decision was reconsidered.

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