HUNTERSVILLE – Huntersville residents spoke out against a proposed lot expansion for Soil Supply, a treatment and processing company off Hagers Road, during the June 3 town board meeting.

A handful of residents opposed the company’s expansion, citing odor from mulch and leaves, in addition to fire, traffic and safety concerns. Many residents live in the Northstone area, which is close to Soil Supply.

The request would allow Soil Supply and Garden Grove to expand their business storage areas. Commissioners did not take action on the proposal.

Town staff received 14 protest petitions for the application as of May 28. They heard residents’ concerns in what was a packed, standing-room-only crowd.

“Allowing this petition to pass is bad for the town and the people,” resident Cheryl Davy said.

“The price per square foot of value of our homes could drop. Northstone is an important part of Huntersville and if those values drop, it’s a huge loss for the town. Quite frankly, nobody wins except Soil Supply (if the petition is granted).”

Vicki Shew, the wife of Soil Supply owner Don Shew, defended the company. She said it provides necessary services for the town.

“We’d like more space to efficiently handle (leaves and mulch),” she said. “Over the last 25 years, we have adapted our procedures and site to the community. We can benefit our company and the community by moving the leaf product.

“If rezoning doesn’t take place, our only choice is to continue our process at the current location due to space constraints.”

Commissioner Ron Julian asked Shew about fire safety and environmental hazards, to which she replied: “There is a lot of monitoring and manpower. We are proud of the fact we have never had a fire that has left the premises.”

If the rezoning happens, leaves and rain gardens would be moved from the areas closest to subdivisions, according to Shew. Soil work would stay in its current place.

Residents, however, still opposed the concept.

“When Northstone was built, I ascertained it would be good for Huntersville,” said Mark Conter of the Northstone Homeowners Association.

“I am asking Huntersville to be good to Northstone now.”