HUNTERSVILLE – Soil Supply, a treatment and processing company, won’t grow its business storage areas anytime soon.

The company, located off Hagers Road, saw its petition to the town board to rezone for more space denied by a 5-1 vote Aug. 5. Commissioner Danny Phillips was the dissenting vote.

Roughly 75 residents attended the meeting to hear the board’s decision. At least 10 residents also brought “No” signs to show the board.

Four spoke out against giving Soil Supply the room to expand. Reasons included possible drops in property value, the odor from mulch and leaves, traffic concerns and fire safety.

Soil Supply is located near the Northstone neighborhood.

“The odor emanating from that property is obnoxious. The large machinery they use is obnoxious,” resident Ben Cassarino said.

“Their land use is not compatible with the surrounding area. I’ve lived in Huntersville for 12 years and they’ve probably increased their workload tenfold since I moved. It’s just not proper planning (to accept Soil Supply’s petition).”

Commissioner Charles Guignard said the petitioners, Don and Vicki Shew, had explored withdrawing their request on several occasions before moving forward with it.

Resident Mark Gibbons said the Shews’ request to adjust its operations in the area would set a poor precedent.

Vicki Shew had a different viewpoint.

“We can appreciate the mentioning of the problems the Northstone residents have had,” she said. “We have tried to be a good neighbor to anyone from Northstone who has come to us in the past. We have tried to work with them.

“We very rarely have fires. The dust, we only deal with at certain times in the year. Our whole business is based on redevelopment.”

Shew added the company would have moved some of its activity half a mile away from Northstone had the petition been accepted.

Commissioner Ron Julian championed the cause to deny the Shews’ petition, citing what he thought was a recent change in business strategy.

“Over the last four or five years, Benchmark, LLC (the Shews’ company) used to sell nothing but dirt, stone, rock and gravel,” he said. “They have gone to composting mulch and selling mulch. That’s a use change from what it used to be. I’m big on property rights, but property rights go both ways.”