The Alleghany County Board of Commissioners held a public hearing on Tuesday, November 8, 2005 at 6:30pm in the Sparta School Auditorium, 450 North Main Street, Sparta, North Carolina.  The purpose of this hearing is to gain citizen input on the proposed High Impact Land Uses / Polluting Industries Ordinance. 


            Present:  Chair Eldon Edwards, Vice-Chair Warren Taylor, Commissioner Graylen Blevins, Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon, Commissioner Ken Richardson, County Attorney Donna Shumate, County Manager Don Adams, and Clerk to the Board Karen Evans. 


Chair Eldon Edwards called the meeting to order.


            Planner Amy Pardue gave a brief PowerPoint presentation for as overview of the High Impact Land Uses / Polluting Industries Ordinance.


            Chair Eldon Edwards reviewed the rules for public hearings.  He asked for public comments.


            Bruce Cook thanked the Board for their work on the ordinance.  He talked about the impact of an asphalt plant on tourism, safety and welfare of the citizens.


            Lou Zeller with the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League talked about other polluting industries, the need to clarify the intent of the ordinance and spacing requirements.  He stated that he encourages the Commissioners to pass the High Impact Land Uses / Polluting Industries Ordinance but he would like to obtain a printed copy of the ordinance before he can issue his final comments.


            Janet Zeller, Executive Director with Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League stated that she is proud of the Board’s actions.  She talked about shortfalls in the ordinance and the State’s requirements for the permitting process.  She asked everyone to attend the public hearing on November 21 about the air quality permit.  She stated that local governments have the responsibility to protect the health of the residents.  She urged the Commissioners to follow through with the ordinance.


            Tom Burgiss talked about holding meetings like this brings everyone closer together as a county.  He stated that he hopes this ordinance will close future polluting industries.  He further stated the elected officials have done a good job to protect us now and in the future.


            Eva Ingle with the National Committee for the New River talked about their previously mentioned concern about the High Quality Waters near the proposed asphalt plant and that concern has been addressed in the ordinance.  She stated her appreciation.


            Ricky Profitt stated that he is very concerned about the health and safety of everyone.  He thanked the Board for their efforts and allowing the public the opportunity to speak and here everyone’s comments.


            Michael Schweitzer stated that it is very impressive how responsive the local government is in Alleghany County.  He talked about neighbors getting together to form the ACES group.  He stated that he was privileged to attend a number of the Planning Board’s work sessions on this ordinance, saw the struggle the Board went through and how the Board kept strengthening the ordinance with their changes.  He thanked the Board for a great job.  He asked what the next steps are and after the effective date of the ordinance what affects will this have on the proposed asphalt plant.


            Randel Hanes talked about the beauty of the county.  He thanked everyone for speaking up about the quality of life here.


            Betsy Dillon said thank you for the ordinance that will protect the area and urges the Board to pass it.


            Dr. John Kovacich presented medical data concerning asphalt pollution that has been published by the CDC.


            Earl Deal thanked the Board for the hard work.  He stated that he was glad to see one of his concerns addressed about the traffic safety.  He asked if the Board considered major feed lot operations for this ordinance.


            Chair Eldon Edwards stated that feed lots hasn’t been discussed.


            Earl Deal talked about feed lots have become a major issue in other counties.


            Joe Ritchie applauded the Commissioners for their actions.  He mentioned a concern to consider is adding landfills as a polluting industry under Section 2, Article 1.  He talked about his concerns are North Carolina is becoming a dumping ground and doesn’t want to see it here.


            Joanna Sink talked about the beauty of the county and it is up to us to protect it.  She thanked the Board for their work.


            Chair Eldon Edwards stated his appreciation for everyone comments.  He talked about landfills being a concern.


            Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon stated that she is in favor of considering adding landfills to the ordinance but she would like more information on the major feed lots before discussing them.  She talked about any Board of County Commissioners can amend or repeal any of the County’s ordinances at any time by law.  She stated that she wanted to make everyone aware, as a citizen, to continue to have the same responsibility later as everyone does now.


            Commissioner Graylen Blevins talked about fuel bulk storage facilities are one of the regulated uses in this ordinance, which is his business.  He reminded everyone that everybody has harmful stuff just lying around and needs to be mindful of those things.  He stated that he spoke to Maymead when he first heard about the proposed asphalt plant.  He further stated that he was excited about the potential progress in the County but the people spoke louder.  He said that the ordinance protects the County in general.  He thanked everyone for coming tonight.


            Commissioner Ken Richardson thanked everyone for the comments as they relate to the County Commissioners.  He also reminded everyone that the ordinance is a living document that can be added to in the future.  He talked about looking at the things that were mentioned tonight and considering them.  He asked that the public keep in touch with the Commissioners.  He also added that he is pleased with the progress the Commissioners have made.


            Chair Eldon Edwards talked about Alleghany County in general.  He stated his appreciation for everyone attending tonight’s meeting.  He talked about this ordinance is important for the future.


            County Manager Don Adams explained that soon the public hearing will be closed and a special-called meeting will be opened for the Commissioners to discuss action on the ordinance.  He answered the question about how does this ordinance affect Maymead by saying Maymead will be required to go through the process stated in this ordinance, if the Board passes the ordinance.


            Being no further business, Chair Eldon Edwards closed the public hearing at 7:30pm. 


Respectfully Submitted,




Karen Evans

Clerk to the Board





Eldon Edwards