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GE comes out against asphalt plant

EAST FLAT ROCK — The General Electric plant, the largest employer in East Flat Rock since the 1950s and one of Henderson County's oldest manufacturing operations, has come out against the proposed asphalt plant a few hundred yards down the road.


Plant manager David Martin and human relations manager Lisa Richmond notified employees Thursday that they had written to the Henderson County Board of Commissioners and the planning department to oppose the rezoning request by Southeastern Asphalt to build a plant on 12 acres at the northeast corner of Spartanburg Highway and the U.S. 25 Connector, according to people who shared the letter on social media.

"GE Current has been a part of this community for 65 years," the plant's leaders said in a letter to the Board of Commissioners. "We have worked hard to be environmentally compliant and continue to strive be good stewards and neighbors in the community.

"We believe that the addition of an asphalt plant would impact our air quality," the letter continued. "We often open our doors to allow fresh air to circulate through the plant. In addition, we believe an asphalt plant as a neighbor would decrease our property value, esthetics and quality of life for 300 employees, many of whom live in the area. Therefore, we respectfully request that you deny the conditional use rezoning application submitted by SE Asphalt."

Southeastern Asphalt's attorney, Brian Gulden, asked the county Planning Board to delay consideration of the conditional zone while he and company officials drafted answers to many questions homeowners posed at a neighborhood compatibility meeting last week.

The next Planning Board meeting is Aug. 20, when it's possible the county will decide to hold an in-person rather than virtual meeting. A month before that, on July 16, the Board of Commissioners will hold an in-person public hearing at the West Henderson High School auditorium on the proposed Tap Root dairy farm rezoning for 699 residential units.