By Jessica Mathews /

A number of concerned residents attended Tuesday’s virtual meeting of the Tyrone Township Planning Commission to protest the proposed rezoning needed for an asphalt plant to be constructed.

Plans call for constructing the plant and warehouses on 30 acres adjacent to the northwest corner of the Old US-23 and Center Road intersection. The site is currently vacant and zoned farming residential. The plant would be located on the inner part of the parcel with at least three warehouses along the Old US-23 road front in two phases. The developer is John Sawyer with Capital Asphalt, who has a purchase agreement with the property owner subject to rezoning approvals. The plant would signify an investment of between $9 and $10 million.

Rezoning requests for two parcels were before the Commission for the first time for review, while Capital Asphalt is petitioning for special land use permits. One is for 50 acres just north of Center Road and the US-23 intersection. The other is for a parcel to the north totaling 74 acres. 20 acres of the latter would be reserved as a buffer to an adjacent residential property near Hogan Road. Both requests seek M2, or heavy industrial zoning. If granted, it would be the only parcel in Tyrone Township that would that designation. It was noted that the TRW auto parts manufacturing plant to the west and south of the proposed asphalt plant is zoned M1 or light industrial.

The three-hour virtual meeting reached capacity of 100 participants with residents raising concerns about waste disposal, odor, traffic, pollution and that it would be an eyesore which would ruin the rural character of the community. Julie Snurka said she’s worked for an asphalt paving company for years and raised different issues, saying it would bring a lot of noise. While it is a seasonal business, she said it’s really more like nine out of 12 months. Snurka was also concerned about southbound ramp traffic and back-ups from trucks turning.

Attorney Abby Cooper spoke on behalf of the applicants and said the area is master-planned for industrial use and makes the most sense for M2 zoning. She said the request meets all criteria but most critical is that it is consistent with the township’s master plan and future land use map. She commented that the US-23 corridor is where the township favors industrial growth based on the availability of sanitary sewers, access to US-23 and putting industrial uses in an area where some already exist. Cooper said the project would serve as a good revenue generator for township, noting the use is really not prevalent in the county and could fill a need within the community.

Sawyer commented that operations would be during daylight hours. He said the state has strict regulations and air quality is severely regulated, noting there is an air quality division that monitors asphalt plants on almost a daily basis and daily reports are submitted. Sawyer commented that noise is generated with the plant but it’s either less or around the same as that of highway traffic.

No decisions were made but it was stated that concerns will be taken into account at future public hearings.

The full meeting can be viewed on the township’s website. That link is provided.