By Jesse Wood
The Watauga County Board of Adjustment hearing of Maymead’s appeal of an asphalt plant permit denial will continue on Thursday, Dec. 3 and Thursday, Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. in the Watauga County Administrative Building.
The Watauga County Board of Adjustment met in November for a portion of the hearing. The Maymead appeal resumes two months after the adjustment board heard 17 hours of testimony and eventually upheld the denial of another asphalt plant permit for Radford Quarries off of Rainbow Trail Road just shy of Boone. That permit was denied because it was within 1,500 feet of an educational facility – Watauga County School’s Gragg Education Center.
As for the Maymead matter, the Watauga County Planning & Inspections department in June revoked a 2011 permit for an asphalt plant to be operated by Maymead Inc. in Deep Gap. The county had originally granted J.W. Hampton Co. the permit, but Maymead applied for a transfer of the permit after it secured a lease from the Hampton family earlier this year (with first refusal purchase rights on 100+ acres in the area.)
In noting that the permit had expired and been revoked, Furman wrote to Maymead President Wiley Roark, “Accordingly, it will not transfer to Maymead Materials, Inc. Watauga County maintains that a vested right has not been established for the erection of an asphalt plant.”
Furman cited other reasons in the letter. Click here for more details on Furman’s letter.
On the other hand, Maymead President Wiley Roark told High Country Press this summer after Furman’s decision that he felt “certain that we are vested from the standpoint of the permit that has been issued to us by Watauga County and we intend to pursue it.”
High Country W.A.T.C.H., a group of concerned citizens opposed to the asphalt plant, has urged citizens to show up and support the effort to stop Maymead from opening another asphalt plant near Boone.
“[The Watauga County Board of Adjustment] will determine whether Maymead will be allowed to place a polluting industry in our neighborhood. This industry has right of first refusal on over 100 acres of adjoining property. If they are allowed to develop this plant, this 100 acres could be purchased from surrounding property owners and used in a massive industrial pursuit,” an email from High Country W.A.T.C.H. states. “Please come sit with us on Dec. 3 and Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. to show the Board of Adjustment our objection to this!”
For more stories on the issue of asphalt plants in the High Country, click here.