Carroll County Board of Zoning Appeals has approved Sweetheart Cup's once-contentious plan to build a diesel fuel tank at its distribution center outside Hampstead.
The company enflamed residents last year when it announced plans to build an above-ground tank within 225 feet of homes on Houcksville Road - well within the 600-foot distance required by county zoning regulations.
The company's new plan, which will place the tank 875 feet from homes, has drawn little opposition from residents or Hampstead officials.
The plan received zoning appeals board approval last week.
"The town's elected officials made it clear that after the company agreed to move the tank away from the residential area, the town felt it had done what it could in terms of an appeal," said Ken Decker, Hampstead town manager.
"Clearly, the best solution would've been for them to rely on local businesses to supply their fuel," Decker said, "but their concern was to save a couple of cents a gallon on diesel fuel, so what can you do?"
In November, the zoning appeals board voted unanimously against construction of a 12,000- gallon fuel tank at the million-square-foot warehouse along Route 30.
In denying the company's request, the board listed concerns including possible contamination of ground water, diesel fumes and the proposed tank's proximity to residents.
In January, Sweetheart switched the tank's proposed location to the southwest corner of the warehouse.
The company required a conditional use permit to build the tank.
Residents took time off from work to attend public hearings on the original proposal, and many wrote the zoning appeals board to voice opposition.
But few offered opinions on the revised plan, which has the support of Jack Lyburn, executive director of the county's economic development department.
The tank poses less of an environmental threat than an underground tank, which would not have required county approval, said Vance Galloway, vice president of Petro Services Inc., installation contractor for the project.