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City council to hold hearing for Special Use Permit for Martin Marietta quarry tonight
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City council to hold hearing for Special Use Permit for Martin Marietta quarry tonight

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A sign notifying residents of a potential rezoning is placed near the entrance of Martin Marietta's quarry in Statesville.

A sign notifying residents of a potential rezoning is placed near the entrance of Martin Marietta’s quarry in Statesville.

It’s safe to say James Pressly of the Pressly Group wasn’t pleased with the Statesville City Council’s decision to approve Martin Mariotta’s request to rezone parcels of land near their quarry close to Bradley Farm Road last week.

There is a meeting at 6 p.m. tonight at City Hall to discuss Martin Marietta’s request for a Special Use Permit, but Pressly spared no words when asked about last week’s vote that approved the first reading of the rezoning request, setting in motion the expected approval of the zoning changes.

“It is clear that Martin Marietta has greased the wheels of our local government over the last 40 years. The city’s bias towards Martin Marietta and disregard for its adopted policy and comprehensive land plan is appalling,” Pressly said. “These types of decisions by our city leaders demonstrate how Statesville has regressed over the years, and why at every entrance into Statesville you are greeted with abandoned warehouses, a forsaken Signal Hill Mall, impoverished neighborhoods, derelict buildings, and potentially now an expanded rock quarry.”

Pressly said the quarry’s expansion would likely stop the group’s senior community which was planned nearby.

“By voting to expand heavy industrial land uses into residential neighborhoods, our Statesville City Council has dishonored Statesville public policy, disrespected its own citizens, and disgraced the virtue of public service,” Pressly said.

Of course, it’s no surprise that the company Martin Marietta is pleased with the process so far.

“Martin Marietta appreciates all of the time and effort the Planning Department, Planning Board and City Council have put into this project. We look forward to completing this process at the next hearing and moving ahead with our investment in the community,” Alex Jolly said. He is the plant manager of the Statesville Quarry. He said anyone with questions could call him at 803-542-0861.

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But the debate over the quarry’s proposed changes isn’t over just yet as the city still must approve the Special Use Permit for Martin Marietta, which is critical to the company moving forward with its plans.

City Planning Director Sherry Ashley said Wednesday’s meeting will be an evidentiary hearing in which testimony and evidence are gathered by the city council for them to make the finding of fact on several criteria.

The council will grant a permit, as it would in any other Special Use Permit if the following findings are made about Martin Marietta’s plans for the changes at the quarry:

» The use will not materially endanger the public health or safety if located where proposed and developed according to the plan as submitted and approved.

» The use meets all required conditions and specifications.

» The use will not substantially injure the value of adjoining or abutting property, or that the use is a public necessity.

» The locations and character of the use, if developed according to the plan submitted and approved, will be in harmony with the area in which it is to be located and in general conformity with the plan of development of the City of Statesville and its environs.

But unlike last week’s meeting, there are different rules on who can speak at the hearing.

“Unlike the rezoning request at the last meeting in which anyone can speak and provide input, testimony and evidence has to be provided (today),” Ashley said in an email. “Ultimately Martin Marietta’s request consists of two processes, the rezoning and the Special Use Permit. Each process requires a hearing, the rezoning is a legislative hearing (again anyone can speak and provide input) and the Special Use Permit is an evidentiary hearing (persons with standing {ability of a party to demonstrate to the court sufficient connection to and harm from the law or action}) have opportunity to present testimony and evidence in regards to the findings of fact referenced above.”

Follow Ben Gibson on Facebook and Twitter at @BenGibsonSRL

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