The board listened to testimony from the company and from Hoffman, a board member of the Downer United Methodist Church, which adjoins the Gloucester Recycling property. The public portion of the meeting will resume Tuesday. The board could make a decision on the company's request for a use variance in a light-industrial zone at that time.
It is likely that the neighbors will return to oppose the granting of the variance.
"We are fed up," said Hoffman, 78, who lives across the street from the company. "We are concerned with all the noise and traffic it would cause. We think the lake will be very dangerous," he said.
Hoffman said he has tolerated the operations for so many years because they were relatively small and did not create a "major inconvenience." A large operation, he said, is a different matter.
"Traffic in the area is already congested. School buses use the road. It would be dangerous," Hoffman said.
James Gilpin, speaking for the company, said the number of trucks would probably quadruple, from about 25 to 100 a day. The area mined would increase
from 65 to 262 acres, he said.
"Sand is a very limited resource. We are not trying to create a new site, we just want to expand an existing one. If we are denied here, we will have to seek out virgin land," Gilpin said.
The company, which is owned by Bridgeton developer Chester J. Ottinger, has ''done its best to minimize any adverse effect on the community," Gilpin said.
Hoffman said he was also worried that the operation would move closer to the 100-year-old church. He said the church has turned down several offers
from the company to buy its five acres of land.
"We are a small community church. We have no intention of selling our property or leaving the area," said Hoffman.
"If they are allowed to do this, there will be nothing but a big quarry over there. It's going to be an awful hazard," he said.
Gilpin said that he did not believe the lake would be dangerous and that a lake had existed on the property before.