FROM STAFF REPORTS

The Statesville City Council has approved a request by Martin Marietta to rezone portions of five properties to expand the footprint of its quarry operation.

The unanimous vote to approve the Heavy Industry rezoning for about 53 acreas came after 1 a.m. on Tuesday at the conclusion of a public hearing that began at 10:45 p.m. Monday.

Martin Marietta plans to invest $40 million in new equipment for the mining operation. While the vote does not allow for the expansion of the mine or pit into the newly zoned properties, the company will move other operations closer to homes and businesses near Bradley Farm Road and Quarry Road.

A hearing for a special use permit was continued until April 28.

Opposition to the expansion was spearheaded by developer James Pressly, who is planning to build senior housing on nearby property.

Pressly’s legal team attempted to convince the City Council that approving the rezoning would be a violation of its own development code and comprehensive plan, which called for the properties to be used for residential or light business. The city also failed to provide proper notice to nearby property owners, the lawyers argued.

Pressly said the Council had an obligation to protect residents from heavy industry, and said that the expansion would “crush” his development plans. One nearby resident expressed concerns about the dust and noise created by the expansion and suggested the company relocate its operating to a less populated area of the city.

Citing their 60-plus year history in the city, Martin Marietta officials promised to continue being good neighbors.

The rezoning will not result in an expansion of the blasting area. Blasting operations are currently prohibited within 1,000 feet of any existing residential structure not owned by Martin Marietta.

The company will maintain perimeter buffers of 100 feet and 50-foot stream buffers.

As part of its expansion, the company will modernize its equipment, which officials said would be quieter, more environmentally friendly and energy efficient. Company officials said the operation would continue to comply with the city’s noise ordinance.

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