The Guilford County Board Commissioners is holding a public hearing over a contentious rezoning issue Thursday evening. Many residents in the small town of Pleasant Garden are fighting to keep a proposed rock quarry out of their community.

Large amounts of granite have been discovered at a Guilford County site that was once earmarked for clay mining. The company Lehigh Hanson now wants to open a 300-acre rock quarry and is seeking approval from county officials to do that.

But several town residents oppose the project. Signs are posted in their neighborhoods saying, “NO ROCK QUARRY HERE!” They're concerned about potential noise, traffic and other issues from the mining process.

Heather Davis says she understands their frustration. Her family owns a farm near the proposed site.

“The residents in this side of the county only have well water, and water is our greatest concern," says Davis. “This granite mining will take it to a whole different level, which in turn effects our water table and water supply.”

Greensboro attorney Tom Terrell represents Lehigh Hanson. He says modern techniques will minimize any impact on residents. And he says the company has provided studies that show the project is safe.

“It would not impact anyone's groundwater wells,” says Terrell. “The company has stated and concluded that what is called the area of influence, the area beyond the pit that could influence groundwater, only extends beyond the quarry property in a very small place and in that very small place there are no wells. There are lots of mistaken notions about what would take place.”

Terrell says the company is also offering a well protection program for residents near the area and it would install a 20-foot high berm around the site for noise barriers.

If the rezoning change is approved, the Guilford County Planning Board would have to issue a special use permit in order for the project to move forward.

*Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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