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County wins China Grove zoning dispute

By Jessie Burchette

Salisbury Post

A Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of Rowan County, clearing the way for a paving company to relocate to a site near China Grove.

Moran Thomas, owner of M & amp;K Barbecue in Granite Quarry, challenged the Board of Commissioners’ decision to allow Carolina Siteworks to move to Wade Drive off N.C. 152, near Carson High School.

Earlier this year, commissioners rezoned the 3.6 acres owned by Jerusalem Baptist Church trustees from rural agricultural to commercial-business-industrial and issued a permit to allow Carolina Site Works to operate a paving business.

The property includes several buildings that have been used over the years for various purposes, including a hangar for a private airstrip and an assembly area for wood stoves.

Thomas, a longtime resident of Wade Drive, hired former County Attorney John Holshouser, who filed papers in July contending that the county action would hurt his client’s property value. Holshouser also contended that the county board’s action amounted to spot zoning.

During hearings before the Rowan County Planning Board, Thomas said he had maintained Wade Drive since 1965. He also expressed concern about having additional truck traffic entering N.C. 152 near Kress Ventures Drive, the entrance to Carson High School.

Current County Attorney Jay Dees challenged technical aspects of the filings, as well as contending the Board of Commissioners acted within its authority.

After hearing arguments from Holshouser and Dees, Superior Court Judge Michael Beale affirmed the action of the Board of Commissioners.

It was Holshouser’s last case as an attorney in Superior Court. He will become the county’s senior resident Superior Court judge on Jan. 2.

Thomas has the option to appeal the case but will have to retain another attorney. Thomas said Wednesday he hasn’t decided whether to appeal.

Thomas also expressed disappointment in commissioners, who he said told him the property would not be rezoned and then did so anyway.

The legal challenge has held up the sale of the property to Carolina Siteworks and the planned move.

Contact Jessie Burchette at 704-797-4254 or jburchette@salisburypost.com.

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