The 9 members of the Henderson County Planning Board will review Jeff Shipman and SE Asphalt’s rezoning application tomorrow (Thursday, April 15, 2021) at 5:30 pm at the Blue Ridge Community College Thomas Auditorium (180 W Campus Drive, Flat Rock, NC 28731).

Please attend IN PERSON and be ready to make your public comments about why you oppose building a hot mix asphalt plant East Flat Rock.


Zoning Agreement
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
According to a market impact analysis report submitted as evidence by SE Asphalt’s own attorney, Brian Gulden, during a 2019 public hearing when he represented Sustainable Madison‘s opposition against a proposed asphalt plant in Madison County, property values of Henderson County homes within a 1-mile radius of the Rogers Group asphalt plant on Asheville Highway are down 23.96% compared to similar homes within the same zip code outside of that radius over the past 15 years.

Known Toxins
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.

Health Impacts
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).

The Planning Board does not approve or deny the rezoning application. They will make a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners who have the final approval or denial authority.

Here’s how they voted on the same issue last year:

Recommended to Deny:
Rick Livingston
Bruce Hatfield
Jim Miller, Jr.
Jennifer Balkcom
Steve Dozier

Recommended to Approve:
Blake Baird
Hunter Marks

Not Present:
Paul Patterson
Trey Ford

💥 If you’re unable to attend in person, please submit your public comment online HERE.