Radford Quarries Applies for Second Asphalt Plant Permit in High Country This Week

Published Thursday, June 18, 2015 at 3:48 pm
Ashe Planning Director Adam Stumb created this graphic depicting the location of the proposed plant. Stumb said he was going to present this to the Ashe County Planning Board tonight.

Ashe Planning Director Adam Stumb created this graphic depicting the location of the proposed plant. Stumb said he was going to present this to the Ashe County Planning Board tonight.

By Jesse Wood

Radford Quarries has applied for a second asphalt plant permit in the High Country this week.

On Tuesday, Watauga County Planning Director Joe Furman announced that Radford Quarries  applied for an asphalt plant permit on Rainbow Trail Road.

On Thursday, Ashe County Planning Director Adam Stumb said that Radford Quarries applied for an asphalt plant permit earlier this week in the Glendale Springs area.

Currently, Radford Quarries operates a quarry on a 30-acre parcel, Stumb said, adding that the the quarry and potentially the asphalt plant would operate on about five acres of those 30 acres if approved in the future. Radford Quarries also owns an additional eight-acre parcel next to the 30-acre parcel.

In the early 2000’s, Ashe County instituted a one-year moratorium against asphalt plants after Tri-County Paving attempted to build an asphalt plant in the county. Tri-County Paving sued, but the moratorium was upheld in court.

Following the one-year moratorium, Ashe County adopted a “Polluting Industries Ordinance,” which requires a buffer between residential areas and a polluting industry, such as an asphalt plant.

The ordinance calls for a 1,000-foot buffer between a residential dwelling and 1,320-foot buffer between any school, daycare center, hospital or nursing home facility.

Strumb said that Tri-County Paving, which operates a quarry in Jefferson, never did construct an asphalt plant after the moratorium and passage of the ordinance.

Strumb also said that no other asphalt plant has been built in Ashe County since the adoption of the ordinance. Strumb said that Maymead Inc. operates an asphalt plant in Jefferson but he couldn’t recall when that was built.

Strumb said that Glendale Springs is located in the southeastern portion of the county, “sort of the last drop off into Wilkes on that end of the county.”

Radford Quarries owner D.J. Cecile didn’t return a request for comment.

With opposition to Maymead’s proposed asphalt plant in Deep Gap and the announcement of another asphalt plant application for a location along Rainbow Trail Road in Watauga County, asphalt plants have been in the local headlines quite a bit in the past several weeks.

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