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.”

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter: @RMarshallFNP.

Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at rmarshall@newspost.com.

(21) comments

CKutzGo

people arguing for this should try living in the area... We live on the North end of this location but the dump trucks start roaring down the road around 11pm, non stop. Again around 4 AM it seems. Sure, our fault for not realizing the impact these plants have. but adding even more traffic is absurd. I'm not sure how much of the traffic goes south into buckeystown during these hours, but it's maddening hearing those roariing trucks go by all day. and through the night. Aside from the chemical smells given off by these plants, if these companies could find a way to mitigate their impact on the community I think they would be given more consideration.

KellyAlzan

Tampko is located on that area. What do they make???? Asphalt shingles!!!!!

shiftless88

I still do not understand the arguments against given that it would be directly next to a huge gravel pit with lots of truck traffic dumping on to 85.

DickD

The smell would be terrible and possibly dangerous to anyone nearby. Once they allowed St. John's high school it should have been obvious that an asphalt plant would not be allowed. But it's very true that the High school at that location is new. I think it was put on land donated by the Thomas', who went to church at St. Josephs. The school would have stayed at Prospect Hall, except the land donation gave them more room. Too bad, Prospect Hall was a great location.

KellyAlzan

Hmmmm……...there is an asphalt plant in Frederick City. Houses what I consider fairly close. How many people have croaked as a result??

DickD

How do you know none of them developed cancer as a result of being close, Kelly? Are you a doctor?

KellyAlzan

Why would anyone developed cancer? Do the paving crews all have cancer? Do you know what asphalt is comprised of? Google it.

MD1756

Kelly, there are regulations for emissions from asphalt plants(40 CFR Part 60 Subpart I aka NSPS Subpart I) which regulate the amount of particulate matter PM) that can be released. Research indicates adverse health issues (including lung cancer) with increasing PM release.(see the following from NIH: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4740125/ ). Compliance with the regulations doesn't mean the plant will not cause harm to anyone but it does mitigate the potential for harm (assuming compliance with the regulations). That said, there could be worse facilities to have nearby.

KellyAlzan

Md1756, there is no direct link that asphalt plants cause cancer. It hasn’t been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

KellyAlzan

Md1756 there is no evidence that asphalt plants are a direct link to cancer. (I did some reading yesterday)

MD1756

Kelly, you'll probably never find a link that most any plant (even refineries) has a direct link to cancer. However certain chemicals and PM do have links to cancer so increasing exposure increases the chances of someone getting cancer. You must have missed my last sentence that said "That said, there could be worse facilities nearby." meaning as far as health concerns, assuming compliance with the regulations, I wouldn't worry about an asphalt plant. I might as far as noise and traffic and you're probably much more likely to die in a traffic accident than from any emissions from the plant. However, it is possible that the emissions from the plant will kill someone but the frequency would not be enough to determine the cause.

KellyAlzan

Md1756 - I love how people on the FNP comment forum assume everything about everyone that comments. Naturally. There are no links from anyone affiliated with the production of asphalt. Duh. There are, however, writes ups from regulatory divisions of governments. As well as studies from various educational medical sources

MD1756

Kelly, just because you can't find something doesn't mean it's not there. If someone lived in an area with multiple sources of PM and gets cancer, you'll never be able to attribute it to one source. Fact is EPA regulates PM from asphalt plants because there is a risk of adverse health consequences up to and including cancer from PM10. Did you not read the link from the NIH? I am just pointing that while unlikely it is still a possibility although probably very small (i.e.,

gabrielshorn2013

Dick, I believe that Kelly has pointed out earlier that there are two previously existing asphalt facilities in that area. Wouldn't it make sense to put them all together?

DickD

Yes, it would how close are the other two.?

stevehurley

The property was owned and operated by St. Thomas More Academy, who purchased the property originally for their school facility. The school couldn't make ends meet and sold the property to Saint John's Prep. The original St John's was sold to Matan Development, and they turned the property into the apartment complex but subdivided the property keeping the old mansion as historic.

KellyAlzan

Ms demning - yet, you put your kids on a school buss with no seatbelts. Let that sink in........

Dwasserba

? This assumes a lot

KellyAlzan

And so does the “my kids, my kids” crap the people claim as reason not to build [smile]

MD1756

If people didn't have so many kids, we wouldn't need so many new roads and new asphalt plants to provide the material for the new roads.

FootballDad1978

Would any asphalt plant ever be built across the street from an existing public school? I seriously doubt that. Also under the mineral and mining land use provision they need a site plan of 25 acres, this site plan was trying to be a "Mixed Use" MU1 district use by taking a 23 acre area from mineral and mining and a 3 acre agricultural use. in the zoning code in section 417 there is no provision to use a MU1 with mining and mineral or for factory use. No one at the meeting is against asphalt plants (maybe one or two people) but we just want common sense planning and zoning and when the institutional floating zone was established for SJCP one of the main concerns had to have been the lot for mineral and mining that was un-used but since it was only 23 acres I would bet they approved the site plan for the school based on the fact that nothing could be built on a plot under 25 acres for mineral and mining.

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