A conditional rezoning application #R-2020-03-C has been submitted on behalf of SE Asphalt – Jeff Shipman on May 1,2020, which requests Henderson County conditionally rezone a 6.5 acre portion of land, currently owned by Dustin Gosnell of DGP HOLDINGS LLC and Nathan and Kelly Byrd of NKMR VENTURES LLC, to a conditional district to construct a new asphalt drum plant located off Spartanburg Hwy (US 176) in East Flat Rock, North Carolina.
Asphalt drum plants continuously mix aggregate and liquid asphalt with no interruption in the production process and can manufacture asphalt at a high rate. According to SE Asphalt, the production capacity of the proposed plant will be 200 tons per hour.
Conditional Districts allow for the Board of Commissioners to place conditions on the property to address community concerns and make the proposed development compatible with adjacent uses.
REASONS FOR CONCERN:
The property is currently zoned Community Commercial, which allows for residential and commercial uses, such as office buildings and retail sales and services. By right, asphalt plants are not currently permitted and special conditional rezoning must be obtained in order to build a heavy industrial plant in such close proximity to neighborhood homes, schools, and churches. Approving a rezoning application to change the zoning to allow for an industrial plant in a non-industrial zoned residential area sets a dangerous precedent that paves the way for other zoned areas to be changed at will.
Loss of Property Value
A property value study conducted by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) documented losses of up to 56% because of the presence of a nearby asphalt plant. Read the BREDL study documenting property value losses over half a mile away from an asphalt plant in Pineola, North Carolina.
Asphalt fumes are known toxins. Asphalt processing facilities are major sources of hazardous air pollutants such as formaldehyde, hexane, phenol, polycyclic organic matter, and toluene. Exposure to these air toxics may cause cancer, central nervous system problems, liver damage, respiratory problems, and skin irritation. Read this EPA Emissions Assessment Report on Hot Mix Asphalt Plants.
In another study by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL), 45% of residents living within a half mile of a new asphalt plant reported a deterioration of their health, which began after the plant opened. Read the BREDL study conducted in the Bethel-Cullasaja community, the site of an asphalt plant permitted to produce 180 tons per hour of paving asphalt (slightly smaller than the proposed SE Asphalt plant).
WHAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW:
Attend Henderson County’s Special Called Meeting/Public Hearing Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 6:00 pm
This meeting is open to the public and will take place IN PERSON at the Blue Ridge Conference Hall on the Blue Ridge Community College campus (Technology Education and Development Center building, 49 East Campus Drive, Flat Rock, NC 28731). There are currently no plans to offer an option to connect by Zoom. Masks will be required. Social distancing will be enforced. The Board of Commissioners will receive public comment, subject to time limitations set by the Board Chairman. You must sign up before the meeting begins to be able to speak during public comment. The sign-up sheet will be available in the lobby of the Technology Education and Development Center.
The Board of Commissioners Public Hearing Starts in...