By Jesse Wood
As anticipated, Maymead Inc. submitted its appeal to the Watauga County Board of Adjustment.
Watauga County Planning Director Joe Furman notified the media that the company submitted its appeal for the revocation of its asphalt plant permit, proposed at Deep Gap along U.S. 421, to the board on Tuesday.
Furman said that the date for consideration of the appeal by the Board of Adjustment has yet to be determined.
Earlier this month, Maymead President Wiley Roark said that his company intended to appeal the Watauga County Planning Department’s decision to revoke its asphalt plant permit. It had until the end of the month to formally appeal.
About a month ago, Furman sent Roark a letter stating that the permit “expired and therefore [is] revoked.”
Furman wrote the project wouldn’t be grandfathered-in under the old high impact land ordinance, which regulates asphalt plants and other polluting industries. Under new modifications to the ordinance, an asphalt plant and two other high impact land uses can’t be built within 1,500-feet of a scenic byway and 750 feet from a residential property line.
Maymead is proposing to build its asphalt plant on a 4-acre property along U.S. 421, which is an NCDOT-designated scenic byway. Under a lease agreement, the company also has first refusal rights to purchase 100-plus acres of adjacent property.
“We are certainly disappointed by Mr. Furman’s letter, and we don’t agree with it,” Roark said. “We feel 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 … If Watauga County wants to strengthen their high impact land use ordinance, that is certainly up to them, but our position to them … the [potentially new] regulations don’t apply to us because we are vested and we are going to pursue that. We feel like we are on a very strong footing to do so.”
In addition to Maymead, Radford Quarries is also appealing a recent decision by the planning department to refuse an asphalt plant permit for its proposal on Rainbow Trail Road.
Furman said that Radford’s application was denied because the asphalt plant if built would be in the entire 1,500-foot buffer zone for educational facilities. Radford Quarries submitted its appeal last week. Radford Quarries’ owner didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Furman said that the appeal date for Radford Quarries is also yet to be set.
For more information about this issue, click here to read previous stories.
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