RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. -- The Greensboro-Randolph Megasite is getting bigger, after the Randolph County Planning Board voted unanimously to rezone 370-acres surrounding the site for heavy industrial use.
County officials say the extra acreage fills in some of the holes initially mapped out in the Megasite and makes it more desirable for potential buyers. The site is now 1900-acres.
"It gives a bigger footprint for a potential buyer to place buildings and facilities," said Randolph County Manager, Hal Johnson. "It gives them more options when they choose this site to develop the type of facility they want."
The now 1900-acre plot of land could be a top contender for a $1.6 billion Toyota-Mazda manufacturing plant, according to commercial site selection experts.
The Toyota-Mazda plant will bring roughly 4,000 jobs to the site it selects.
According to Bloomberg, the companies have narrowed it down to North Carolina and Alabama.
The companies plan to announce the location of the new plant in the beginning of 2018.
There were some neighbors in the audience who spoke out against the rezoning, citing concerns about noise and traffic.
Neighbors say they're hoping to work with the county to make it easier on their community.
"This is a hard fight to fight and it's rarely won," said Alan Ferguson, who lives next to the Megasite. "But we can win concessions that will make life livable."
The group is hoping for a buffer zone and a groundwater protection program to make sure any company that buys the site doesn't pollute their well water.
Megasite officials will host an informational meeting at Providence Grove High School on Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m.
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