GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. - Neighbors in the Pleasant Garden area are celebrating, calling Wednesday’s planning commission meeting a small win, after the board did not get enough votes to rezone a 300-acre plot of land for a rock quarry outright.
However, the land will still be up for a rezoning vote by the full Guilford County Commission in the coming weeks. The lawyer representing the company Lehigh Hanson says they still got a 5 to 3 vote, meaning most the board seemed in favor of the quarry.
To recap, Lehigh Hanson wants to build a rock quarry to mine granite, but over the last few months, neighbors have pushed back, saying a quarry in their community would be a disruption.
“The harmony of the community…the community as a whole is a happy community,” said Gerald Hall, whose property backs up the site, “And this just doesn't fit in.”
The company argues the neighbors would not even know the quarry was there, between the infrequent “blasting” to mine the rock, and the trees and berms surrounding the quarry itself. To prove their point, they brought in about a dozen experts to explain the ins and outs of the project.
But the “No Quarry Here” group says they’re concerned about traffic, noise, and effects to the well water in the area anyway. Wednesday night, they brought in a petition against the quarry with more than 1,300 signatures, and their own lawyer to fight back.
In the end, the issue will go to the Commissioners for another look in the coming weeks. Although they’re looking at this as a victory, they say the fight is not over.
“It’s a big deal because the land means something to us. It's very emotional because we have many, many generations of farmers who live on this land and love the land and nourish the land,” said Sharon Hill.
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