Residents upset about proposed industrial rezoning

May. 06, 2014 @ 09:50 AM

People who live near Granite Hardwoods Inc. do not want the business adding traffic, noise and drifting sawdust to their worries.

Granite Hardwoods wants to rezone 3008 Eddington Road from a residential to an industrial zoning so it can expand its business.

But at a public hearing Monday night, nearby residents said that they were worried Granite Hardwoods would use the property as a back entrance to its main facility on U.S. 321-A and that it would hurt their property values and the rental amounts they could get for nearby houses. 

Several said their worries were based on the experience of the property previously being industrial before it reverted to residential after being vacant for a number of years. Resident Larry Ryder said the previous industrial owners were “the world’s worst neighbor.”

“We don’t want to see them there any more,” Ryder said. “We’ve had enough of them.”

Ryder’s son, Scott Ryder, wanted to buy the .79-acre property, which is currently owned by S2S Inc., but he could not afford the $60,000 price tag.

“When they closed it down, it was the best thing that could have happened,” Scott Ryder said.

Woody Buchanan, president and general manager of Granite Hardwoods, said he “can’t speak to what it’s been in the past,” but said the property will not become the source of nuisance that residents worry it would be. He said that “99 percent of the time” the entrance would not be used by trucks or other company vehicles. Instead, Granite Hardwoods would put up gates and keep out vandals.

Nearby residents did not appear to be moved.

Clay Duffy said, “It ain’t going to work. It might work for them, but it ain’t going to work for the neighbors.”

The Granite Falls Town Council postponed making a decision until Monday, May 19, at 5:30 p.m.so Town Planner Greg Wilson can gather more information. Mayor Barry Hayes said he hoped that, in the meantime, residents and Granite Hardwoods can work out a compromise.