Sloan Construction Co. plans to build a $15 million liquid asphalt cement storage and distribution facility on the 1500 block of S.C. Highway 18.
Opponents spoke to council Wednesday afternoon, asking it to intervene and stop the facility from being built.
Residents of the Woodhaven and Camelot subdivisions expressed concerns about potential traffic, health, fire and environmental hazards. Supervisor Donnie Betenbaugh and councilman Joe Lawson told them there is nothing council can do because the county lacks both a planning council and zoning. Twice previously the county attempted to establish limited land use planning to protect the U.S. 176 corridor from unregulated development but both times it failed because of public opposition.
“You can't tell me what to do with my land!” was the argument made by land use opponents, who compared council's efforts with communism.
Sloan originally sought to locate the asphalt facility near Pacolet, but Spartanburg County's planning commission rejected its request for a zoning variance in August 2007.
Union County has neither a planning commission nor zoning, so Sloan was free to buy land for its facility here.
This isn't the first time county residents have had to pay the price for others' mistakes, but we hope it's the last.
Council should do everything in its power to prevent any future problems.