Release by High Country W.A.T.C.H:
High Country WATCH has learned that Watauga county residents Carolyn and Randall Henion have appealed to Superior Court the recent Watauga County Board of Adjustment (BOA) ruling that overturned a June 2015 decision by the Watauga County planner to revoke a 2011 High Impact Land Use (HILU) issued to Johnny Hampton for an asphalt plant due to a lack of progress.
The Henions courageously made this decision in support of the many citizens of our county who have adamantly opposed this ruling. Thousands signed petitions; parents marched with their children; citizens wrote to express their dismay and trusted that the county would uphold their own decision to halt this polluting industry. This proposed asphalt plant, according to Maymead’s own draft air permit, is expected to emit 124 tons of toxins per working period each year and will be self-monitoring 364 days a year.
Now, due to the County Commissioners’ refusal to appeal the BOA decision, a Watauga County family has been forced to take up the responsibility which should have been that of the county: to protect our clean air, our home values and our gateway into a multimillion dollar tourist industry, by attempting to have the county’s original decision upheld.
Evidence presented in the hearing showed no significant progress or investment was made by Johnny Hampton, the HILU permit holder, toward the development of an asphalt plant at the site in question on the 421 Scenic Byway. The BOA found that two other entities, JW Hampton Company and Maymead, had made “substantial expenditures” in reliance on the HILU permit and thus were entitled to a vested right in the permit. However, in addition to there being no expenditures made by the permit holder, Mr. Hampton, toward the development of an asphalt plant, evidence presented at the hearing showed the expenditures made by these other entities were insufficient to find vested rights because:
- Not only did Maymead not have a valid permit for the site even prior to revocation, Maymead’s expenditures were made during a time they did not hold a lease on the permitted property, and are thus inapplicable to vested rights; and
- JW Hampton’s expenditures were for his current crusher/recycling business, and not for an asphalt plant.
Documents in evidence support the truth and justice for this case.
High Country WATCH applauds the Henions for taking this action to support Watauga County.
As the Henions stand up to support the citizens of Watuaga County, please do what you can to support the Henions by going to https://www.gofundme.com/stopdeepgapasphalt and lend them a helping hand with funding for the their legal fees.