ARCHDALE — A request to rezone 11 acres on Old Glenola Road to clear the way for a concrete plant was denied by the Archdale City Council after nearly three dozen neighbors spoke about the proposal.
After the five-hour public hearing, the property remained a single-family residential tract rather than the proposed conditional heavy industrial that would have ultimately permitted Brad and Alisha Riley to begin operations on that site. Environmental factors, traffic and pollutants were among the reasons many of the Rileys’ neighbors asked council members at the regular April meeting to deny the request.
Tom Terrell, an attorney speaking on behalf of the Rileys, anticipated the objections and cautioned the council to consider only tangible evidence.
“I’m going to remind you that you are going to hear all sorts of fears projected, what could happen, what might happen,” Terrell said. “I’m asking you to look at these real-life, current examples of plants that have been there for decades and acknowledge that none of us have been reading the horror stories that they’re going to mention.”
Terrell pointed to Balfour Elementary School in Asheboro as an example of an institution that has occupied property across from Asheboro Ready-Mix for many years with what he said were minimal consequences. Later in the evening, Chris Tuft, principal at Balfour Elementary, spoke against the rezoning request, rebutting some of Terrell’s arguments.
Tuft said he travels Old Glenola Road daily to and from work, and worries that he and his son, with their asthma, would be negatively affected.
“I will tell you that in my experience, we do have issues with dust at the school, noise from the trucks, but one of the biggest concerns is the traffic itself,” Tuft said. “The trucks do cause quite a commotion. We’ve had several near misses at the school with the trucks that go back and forth, so I would say that is one of my main concerns.”
Trinity resident Jackson Kiser presented the council with information on particulates, the way they can impact residents and the distance which they can travel. Speaking to the science of how concrete plants can impact the surrounding area, Kiser reiterated a few of Tuft’s medical concerns.
“Subparticles can go very deeply into the lungs, causing damage,” Kiser said. “They’re able to bypass the body’s natural defenses and cause lots of issues with respiratory [systems]. The average wind speed in Archdale is 5-7 miles per hour daily. At the wind speed of 6.2 mph, a 10-micron particle is capable of traveling 1.1 miles. A lot of these particles are a lot smaller, so it would be more in the 5-micron particle range, and would have the capability to travel 4.5 miles.
“It wouldn’t just affect Old Glenola Road, but a much greater area.”
Members of the council concurred with the findings of Archdale’s planning board, which also disapproved of the project. Mayor Lewis Dorsett mentioned at one point during the meeting that any appeal the Rileys might wish to make would have to be in court.
Barring legal action, the residents of Old Glenola Road will be without the concrete plant that many of them opposed.
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