Plans for a proposed asphalt production plant can’t move forward after the Frederick County Board of Zoning Appeals declined to overturn an appeal.
A 2-2 tie vote from Frederick County Board of Zoning Appeals voted 2-2 at a meeting Thursday night prevents the site plan for the proposed C.J. Miller plant from moving forward, because it doesn’t meet various requirements in the county code, such as how much of the plant’s product would come from the site itself.
The project had raised protests from neighbors concerned about the impact the plant would have on the community, including lighting, smell, and truck traffic on Md. 85.
Michele Rosenfeld, a lawyer representing several neighbors of the site, including St. John’s Catholic Prep, said Friday that her clients were pleased with the outcome.
“This is an intensive use. This is a very intensive use,” Rosenfeld said.
Paul Flynn, an attorney for the applicant, Double M LLC, could not be reached for comment Friday.
Double M had appealed after a January decision by the Frederick County Planning Commission, which also tied in its consideration of the site plan for the 25-acre site along Md. 85 south of Lime Kiln Road. For both groups, a tie vote means that a plan is not approved.
The site plan called for a production center on the site, which would process aggregate and recycled asphalt into hot-mix asphalt to be used for paving and other purposes.
The area has been zoned for mineral mining since 1959, Tim Goodfellow, a planner with the county, told the board Thursday.
Flynn told the board Thursday that if it were approved, the project still had a long way to go before it would be built.
“This is not a final gate-keeping function in any sense,” he said. “We’re still years away from having anything at all on this parcel.”
Maureen Domning, whose family lives on Lime Kiln Road, said trucks and pollution from the plant would adversely affect her family and the small community nearby.
“We won’t be able to enjoy being outside,” she said.
Domning said she suffers from several health issues, and fears that the emissions from the plant could make them worse.
Thomas Powell, president of St. John’s, whose property sits across Md. 85 near the site of the proposed plan, told the board that an asphalt plant was “absolutely incompatible with our school.”
He worried about the safety of the school’s teenage drivers and parents dropping students off amid the truck traffic that the asphalt plant would generate.
Founded in 1829, the school is the oldest high school in Frederick County, and one of the oldest schools in the state, Powell said.
The county gave the school permission to build on its current site in 2005, and the county can’t now approve something that’s so at odds with the school’s existence, Powell said.
Flynn argued that the mineral mining zoning has been in place since 1959, long before the school was in its current location. St. John’s was previously in Frederick.
“Yes, the school has hundreds of years of history, but that wasn’t in this location,” Flynn said. “It was at Prospect Hall.”