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Forsyth County pulls support of asphalt plant re-location following protests

Commissioners agree to 'take their hat out of the ring' regarding the battle over a proposed asphalt plant.

CUMMING, Ga. — Forsyth County Commissioners unanimously decided to withdraw an application supporting the controversial relocation of an asphalt plant. 

All five county commissioners voted to terminate the county-initiated Conditional Use Permit (CUP) request for an asphalt plant relocation by CW Matthews Contracting Co Inc.

Commissioners were set to discuss the agenda item at their Jan. 9 meeting, after tabling it on Nov. 22 following hundreds of protesters signing a petition in opposition to the application.

RELATED: Forsyth County commissioners delay asphalt plant plan after overwhelming community protest

The petition now garnering over 7,000 signatures began circulating in October of last year after an application was submitted by the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners to allow for construction of an asphalt plant in Suwanee. The application named the firm, C.W. Matthews Contracting Company, who says that the plant construction would replace an existing plant nearby. 

RELATED: Petition to stop asphalt plant gains thousands of signatures

Just before the holidays at their Dec. 19 meeting, Commissioners voted to terminate the county-initiated Conditional Use Permit for the plant. However, because of the timing of the publication of the agenda for the Jan. 9, 2020 meeting, the public hearing for this still appeared on Thursday night's agenda.

Karen Shields with the Forsyth County Department of Communications said that the pulling of the county's application will not impact the existing asphalt plant.

"The permit for the existing asphalt plant was not terminated. The existing facility may continue to operate within their current zoning and permitting structure," adds Shields.

Shields also clarifying that, "the county was not going to build the asphalt plant. The application process for the CUP and variance were initiated by the county, and that is what was withdrawn."

The president of CW Matthews, Dan Garcia says the company is still examining the possibility of moving their facility to a new location, "Although it has proven difficult, we are continuing to explore our options and working to find a solution that meets both the citizens, county, and our needs."

Garcia adding, "With the county pulling their application, we are taking our time to explore all of our options within the quarry where zoning is permitted."

Garcia said that their efforts to move their current facility to a newer more efficient building was put forth in hopes of growing and improving the company for the environment, employees, and their product.

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