Stop the Deep Gap Asphalt Plant
We are the Henions . My husband and I are working to raise $30,000 in order to appeal this case to the appellate court. We are appealing a Superior Court ruling that contains fundamental legal errors and goes against a century of common law vested rights jurisprudence in North Carolina. The Superior Court order would allow the construction of an asphalt plant using a permit revoked by Watauga County in 2015 for lack of progress.
We came to this beautiful location in the Blue Ridge Mountains after a lifetime of public service and built our retirement home here. Now an out-of-state corporation threatens to put a massive asphalt plant roughly 1,800 feet away from our home and near the homes of hundreds of other concerned residents. Over 104 pristine acres are at risk if this asphalt facility proceeds on the Highway 421 Scenic Byway. According to the asphalt company's draft air permit their Highway 421 operations are expected to emit 124 tons of toxins per year . These toxins include known carcinogens. Unless we appeal this case to Superior Court, the asphalt plant will be built far too close to Parkway Elementary School, Two Rivers Community School, the New River, the Blue Ridge Parkway and many homes in the area, including ours. Of great concern to those in the nearby area, especially those with pre-existing respiratory and health problems, is the fact that the proposed site will be located in an area known for high-density fog, which can trap the toxins emitted for extended periods of time.
Thousands of people in Watauga County have protested, petitioned county commissioners and resisted this asphalt plant .
Video of Protests
My husband and I were granted legal standing in the Board of Adjustments hearing due to the potential for special damages resulting from our very close proximity to the proposed plant. We’ve been forced to appeal this case ourselves because the County government sided with the out-of-state asphalt plant instead of supporting the will of the people.
Our legal counsel has carefully considered the record from the Board of Adjustment hearing and believes we have a very strong case. All the money raised here will go to pay for the legal bills to appeal this case. The County Commissioners have expressed the concern that the appeal could be a lengthy and very expensive process. We need to be prepared for that eventuality and your donations to this cause will be the only avenue we have to ensure we are prepared to continue this effort.
As concerned citizens of beautiful Watauga County, we hope to represent all the citizens here whose well being would be negatively impacted if this asphalt plant were to be built. We are asking for your support to help raise the much-needed funds to allow this case to be heard in an impartial court of law.
Help us protect the places and people you love.
Randall & Carolyn Henion
The Court of Appeals has ruled in our case that we do not have standing. This means that the facts of this case were not even considered. Although we are very disappointed we are not dissuaded. We continue to move ahead and ask that you follow with us.
Your support has been crucial to this process. We thank you for your support in attending meetings, donation of funds and your spirit of caring.
Please continue to support us on this site as we move forward. We will seek to do whatever we can to remedy this decision, but that carries with it ongoing costs.
Justice does not always prevail but it must always be our goal.
On Wednesday, March 21st we took our case to the Court of Appeals in Raleigh. Our lawyer presented to the three judge panel of the court. We expect to hear a verdict some time during the coming summer. We will keep you posted. As always we are infinitely grateful for all of the support we have received from you, the community. Please continue to watch for our coming spring fundraisers.
Many thanks to you all for your donations over the past year. Without your generous support we would not have been able to hold off the asphalt plant this long and get this court appeal. We will keep you updated on the outcome.
We are the Henions. We are raising money to stop the Deep Gap asphalt plant from being built on the 421 Scenic Byway, which serves as a gateway to the High Country of Western North Carolina.
We need to raise $8,000 by the end of February to help fund the appellate court case. We’ve raised more than half of that sum… but our work continues. And so do the legal fees.
We have been on this journey for nearly two years now and we have been blessed with significant support from the community.
But we need more help. We are asking you to help raise $8,000 by the end of February to help us continue this fight.
We are appealing a ruling that contains fundamental legal errors and goes against a century of common law vested rights jurisprudence in North Carolina.
If this case is not appealed, an out-of-state company will build a brand new asphalt plant on the 421 Scenic Byway using a permit issued to another party in 2011 and repealed by Watauga County in 2015. This is wrong for Watauga.
My husbands family sold to gravel to a company years ago. It was mined out of Church Hollow... The Creek that runs through here once had deep holes of clear water that looked blue... No longer. It is not just an eyesore, it has serious implications for all aspects of nature. We need to tread carefully. Years ago I was Executive Director of the regional chamber of travel and tourism. I attended meetings where we discussed 'being careful not to kill the goose who laid the golden egg' of tourism. Though progress will happen, if done thoughtfully, can benefit all. If not, our goose is cooked. Thanks for your efforts.
Randall and Carolyn, I want to Thank You both for fighting so hard in saving Watauga County and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Our nature resorces have been threatened way too long in the name of "progress of man"! Maymead Company is NOTORIOUS for NOT meeting agreed deadlines on road reconstruction! PROOF??? I LIVE IN BOONE!! The road construction in Blowing Rock is a total SNAFU!!! Maymead seems to be holdintg N.C. residents by the short hairs! This contenpiable company does NOT hatve a PLACE in Watauga County!!! They are out to make their money by HOOK & CROOKI!!
Thank you Carolyn - it might help to add the link for people to go to the article: http://www.wataugademocrat.com/news/jordan-proposes-changes-to-state-land-use-laws/article_e578b969-562b-5c5a-9231-4a67e32f9ebd.html
Thank you so much for your efforts on our behalf!!
Thanks for the update. The judge sure took his time. I'd really like to hear comments about the ruling from your lawyer, and his strategy, and perceived chances of success in moving forward.