Seven Oaks concrete plant decision deferred to January
by Anna Oakes
A concrete plant's appeal to the Boone Board of Adjustment contesting town code violations was set to conclude Thursday after beginning seven months ago, but the board again continued the case, deferring a decision until January.
The town of Boone's Planning & Inspections Department issued 10 code violation citations to the Boone Ready-Mix concrete plant at 110 Seven Oaks Road. The plant was grandfathered in as a nonconforming use when the parcel was zoned B3 General Business as part of Boone's area of extraterritorial jurisdiction in November 1998.
The adjacent Seven Oaks neighborhood was zoned R1 Single-Family Residential.
According to the Watauga County register of deeds, Delta Holdings LLC began leasing the property in June 2011 from Michael and Geraldine Perry, owners of Boone Ready-Mix.
Nathan Miller, attorney for Delta Holdings, said his client would resolve violations relating to permits, dumping and erosion controls, but the appellant primarily took issue with the citation for continued operation of a nonconforming situation after loss of the grandfathered use.
The town, represented by attorney Sam Furgiuele, claimed the concrete plant had ceased operation for at least six months, which would cause the plant to lose its grandfathered status under the town's zoning laws.
Delta Holdings presented tax records and other documents in efforts to demonstrate the plant remained in continuous operation during the period in question.
Building inspector Todd Miller testified that he made a least nine visits to the property beginning in August 2011.
"On all of those visits I did not see any activity that to me would indicate that the plant was in operation," Miller said.
The town received a written complaint last year from residents of the Seven Oaks residential subdivision adjacent to Boone Ready-Mix, referring to concerns about safety, aesthetics and pollution.
Three residents of the neighborhood were granted intervener status in the Board of Adjustment's quasi-judicial hearing, allowing them to call witnesses and cross-examine witnesses.
The next regular meeting of the Boone Board of Adjustment is scheduled for Jan. 3.