GLENDALE SPRINGS —The Ashe County Planning Department recently received an application for an asphalt plant from Radford Quarries located in Glendale Springs.
The proposed Ashe County plant would sit on a 30-acre land parcel located on Glendale School Road next to an existing rock quarry owned and operated by Radford Quarries.
According to Planning Director Adam Stumb, the proposed plant would be approximately half an acre in size.
This is the second application the company has submitted in the High Country. Radford Quarries also applied for an asphalt plant permit with Watauga Planning Department for a plant that would be located on Rainbow Trail Road in Boone.
The Ashe County Planning Department is currently reviewing the submitted application. Stumb said the local permit could be completed by next week but the County’s “Polluting Industries Ordinance” requires approval of federal and state permits prior to a local permit being issued.
The “Polluting Industries Ordinance” was passed by the county in the early 2000’s in response to Tri-County Paving’s attempts to build an asphalt plant.
The ordinance requires all polluting industries to have a 1,000-foot distance from a residential area and 1,320 feet from any school, hospital, church or daycare center.
“The intent of the ordinance was to create some meaningful protections for adjoining property owners while not discouraging development,” Stumb said. “I think the ordinance reaches that balance.”
Radford Quarries must obtain an air quality permit from the state and Stumb estimates that to take around 60 to 90 days.
According to Stumb, until recently there wasn’t a large demand for an asphalt plant in Ashe County but increased interest has stemmed from the U.S. 221 widening project.
“Until recently I’m not sure there has been a huge demand for asphalt,” Stumb said. “However, between the U.S. 221 project and hopefully an improving economy there’s been more demand for asphalt.”
There is also potential for job creation in the county with a new asphalt plant. Stumb said construction jobs are possible, but he couldn’t say exactly how many the area would possibly see.
Hannah Myers can be reached at 336-846-7164 or on Twitter @cmedia_hmyers.