Local News

Apex Sees Anti-EQ Support in High Court Ruling on Zoning

Posted January 26, 2007 7:34 p.m. EST
Updated January 26, 2007 7:40 p.m. EST

— Apex officials believe a state Supreme Court decision Friday that supported a plan to build an asphalt plant in Hillsborough will strengthen Apex’s position if Environmental Quality tried to replace its hazardous waste facility, Mayor Keith Weatherly said.

A nighttime blaze that prompted the evacuation of about 17,000 residents in October destroyed the EQ operation, which stored hazardous wastes for transport to treatment facilities elsewhere. The town has vowed to block any attempt to rebuild.

“We believe our legal position is solid in Apex,” Weatherly told WRAL during a “Talkback” interview Friday evening.

The court’s decision Friday said that Hillsborough had to judge the asphalt plant under town rules that were in effect when the application was filed in 2003, not under rules that were adopted later and would bar the facility.

Apex, Weatherly said, zoned out any hazardous waste facilities anywhere in the town’s planning jurisdiction when it adopted zoning regulations in 2000.

“That is the status quo” for any EQ application, Weatherly said. “If they submit a site-plan application now, it seems like the Supreme Court is saying we must review it under what is on the books now, which is no hazardous waste anywhere in Apex.”

“There is absolute unanimity in Apex” against EQ resuming operations, Weatherly told WRAL’s Pam Saulsby.