A landowner who has proposed a construction debris landfill along the Deep River in northern Lee County must resubmit his site plan to planning officials if he wants to continue seeking a special use permit for the project, the county Board of Adjustment decided in a hearing Monday night.

Lee County landowner Bobby Branch – who fought a similar landfill proposal in the same area in 2003 – submitted plans for a several-hundred acre construction debris landfill along North Plank Road to local planning staff in December and was in the process of seeking a special use permit from the county Board of Adjustment. But the application hit an early roadblock in the form of neighboring landowners who protested in March that they hadn’t had enough time to review the plans and asked for the hearing to be delayed.

A follow-up hearing in April drew a capacity crowd and went nearly four hours before being continued again to Monday evening. That’s when, according to Lee County planner Amy McNeill, Branch’s team told the board it was looking to scale back the project. That led the board to decide that he would have to submit new plans.

“The revised design decreased the overall footprint of the project and the maximum height,” McNeill said. “And the board said that the changes were significant enough that the applicant would need to re-submit his application.”

It was unclear Tuesday whether Branch intends to submit new plans for the landfill project.

The Board of Adjustment is the county-appointed quasi-judicial board which will eventually determine if Branch is issued a special use permit for the project, although that would not be the final step in the process – the county Board of Commissioners would still be required to issue a franchise to the developers, a legislative process in which the commissioners have far more discretion than the adjustment board.

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