Board unanimously rejects concrete plant

After seven hours of testimony, public comment and deliberation Wednesday night, the Buncombe County Board of Adjustment voted unanimously to deny a conditional-use permit for a concrete plant proposed for north Buncombe County.

Blue Ridge Concrete, an offshoot of a Savannah-based company, applied nearly a year ago for a permit to build a plant on Murphy Hill Road near the intersection with Old Mars Hill Highway. Since then, neighbors of the site have argued that the area, though open zoned, is actually a residential community unfit for a concrete plant’s industrial nature. (Pictured at right is the site of the proposed plant.)

Community activist Martha Claxton, organizer of the North Buncombe Community of Concerned Citizens, said that she was elated with the 7-0 vote to refuse the permit. She’d expected a victory, she added, but not necessarily such a decisive one.

Roughly 300 people showed up at the hearing held at North Buncombe Middle School, a site picked after a March hearing venue was too small to fit the turnout of opposition.

Meanwhile, Blue Ridge Concrete still owns the Murphy Hill Road property, but there is no word as to what is next for the company. Owner Mark Turner had no comment after the decision.

Look for full coverage in the May 21 issue of Xpress.

Brian Postelle, staff writer


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22 thoughts on “Board unanimously rejects concrete plant

  1. travelah

    Is that in a location where the product being manufactured can meet the local demand?

  2. bobaloo

    More specifically travelah, not in a residential area on a narrow, winding road heavily trafficked by school buses from the four schools within two miles.

    That clarify it for you?

    This wasn’t a NIMBY issue for me, it was a safety issue.

    For example, the DOT guy hired by Blue Ridge Concrete said the road was 18 feet wide (which they actually aren’t) and the trucks were 8 1/2 ft. wide.
    That leaves three inches of clearance for school buses and other traffic. And that doesn’t take into account the turning radius of the trucks, of which they had no idea.
    A recipe for disaster.

    They can build their plant up the road on Monticello Rd. where there are already heavy industrial plants with easy access to the interstate.

  3. bobaloo

    BTW, the only local demand for mass amounts of concrete is the new Wal-Mart and Lowe’s that are being constructed off Weaver Blvd.
    By the time BRC were to have gone into operation, the shopping center would have already been built.

  4. djresteep

    methinks travelah doesnt really have any political stances of his own. that is, beyond being against anything the xpress reports on.
    Medfraud is innocent, too, eh?

  5. travelah

    bobaloo, that is all and well, but what is happening is NIMBY. Concrete is used in a wide assortment of construction projects. About the only thing that doesn’t use it in some fashion is a stick built house erected over a dirt floor and that better not have a modern fireplace and flue. It remains for somebody to suggest where a suitable place for a commercial concrete facility can be located here in the Asheville area. Where would you locate it with the understandng that the supply is needed? A lot of people wish to object and sputter juvenile comments but the issue needs a solution rather than a “no” and then sticking heads in the sand.

    dj, I am satisfied with the verdict against Medford given the evidence presented.

  6. bobaloo


    Obviously you didn’t read my first post, as you didn’t respond to a single point I laid out.

    See the part about the width of the road and the proximity of four schools, then continue on to this part:
    They can build their plant up the road on Monticello Rd. where there are already heavy industrial plants with easy access to the interstate.

  7. travelah

    bobaloo, your post with the Monticello Road suggestion had not appeared for me to read until just now. My apologies if I overlooked something. I have not stated that the plant should be built at the location they requested. I have no problem with the decision. My inquiry is where will it go OR will another group step up and try to block it no matter where it goes? Given this company was willing to make the investment in the facility, I suspect they know more than we regarding supply and demand of the product they are investing in. As for where I think it needs to go, it should be located within a 30-60 minute drop at it’s various destinations and not in a residential zoned area.

  8. bobaloo


    Gotcha, I see some posts lag too.

    My inquiry is where will it go OR will another group step up and try to block it no matter where it goes?

    FYI, it was the N. Buncombe Assoc. of Concerned Citizens that proposed the Monticello area during th hearing last night. It’s home to four heavy industrial sites already.

    We’re not against it wholly, just somewhere logical.

    As far as demand, if people want concrete, I’m certain there’s no issue in getting it.

  9. djresteep

    travelah is just waiting for somebody to say ‘we dont need concrete’, or something in the vein.

  10. travelah

    dj, there have already been a couple of posts that hint at that very notion. I didn’t have to wait at all.

  11. bobaloo

    Actually, both those posts were mine and I said that there’s plenty of concrete to go around, not that it wasn’t needed.

  12. travelah


    ashevillein wrote:
    from what I can tell there is not shortage anywhere around here

    It was not just yourself, hence a couple of comments. The not needed comment relates to supply, yes?

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