The McDuffie County Board of Commissioners upheld at its Feb. 15 meeting the McDuffie County Planning Commission's earlier denial of a zoning request.
Robert Alan Wilson and Virginia Wilson applied for a zoning change to a 2.4-acre parcel at 1062 Salem Road from Medium Density Residential to Highway Commercial, saying the land would be used for an office building and headquarters for the Precision Waste company, owned by Mr. Wilson. The land is currently being used as a Department of Transportation bypass field office.
At the planning commission's Feb. 1 meeting, objections were raised by several individuals, centering mainly on concerns that the property would become unsightly, the garbage trucks might produce unpleasant odors, the environment might be compromised and that there would be a loss of property value in general.
Mr. Wilson responded that the trucks would be cleaned once a month and would not have garbage in them when at the station and that he intended to create a pleasing and discreet site for the company.
After brief discussion, Planning Commissioner Ron Hickman made a motion to deny the application, and it was seconded by Georgia Hobbs. All board members, with the exception of Chairman Charles Wallace, voted in favor of the motion.
"I think there was a lot of misconception," Mr. Wilson said of the concerns raised in the meeting. "There aren't rats running around or anything. We're doing this in the cleanest possible way."
Mr. Wilson said he plans to find another location in McDuffie County for the business headquarters and does not see the denial as a major setback.
"We'll find a place," he said. "We're creating jobs in this community, and we want to stay here. I understand and can appreciate everyone's concerns. I just think there was a lot of misunderstanding."