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