Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Paving the way for new development

The Guilford County commissioners faced a tough choice last week when they had to consider rezoning property and approving a special-use permit for a proposed asphalt plant. In deciding to let the plant go forward, the commissioners made a hard, but correct choice.

There's no getting around the negatives associated with a facility like this. Asphalt plants will never qualify as glamorous development. However, a successful development strategy depends on encouraging a variety of businesses. Moreover, such plants are necessary in an area with growing transportation needs.

The plant will be sited in about as good a location as the county could hope for--in an area that already contains other "heavy" industries and that is near a major highway. There may be less overall pollution than other possible sitings because the asphalt can be tranported over shorter distances. Finally, the proprieters made several accomodations in their site plan to gain planning board approval.

This won't be much solace to the neighbors, who reasonably mobilized against the plant (wouldn't you?). However, the decision was in the best interests of the county.