The Sevier County Planning and Zoning Commission voted Monday night not to change the zoning on property being proposed for an asbestos waste-disposal facility.

The commission heard strong opposition to the proposal from some of the 300 residents who attended a public hearing at the South Sevier High School.The final decision will now be up to the Sevier County Commission. Changing the zoning on the property from agricultural use to industrial use is the last legal hurdle facing the Delta company, the Great Basin Environmental Safety and Health Corp., before it could develop the waste site, located seven miles south of Monroe on Poverty Flat.

State agencies have approved permits for the asbestos dump, despite local opposition.

Several public meetings have been held, in both Richfield and Monroe, and at each, large crowds opposed the dump. At one meeting, angry residents paraded signs through the aisles.

Great Basin officials have promised they would adhere to environmental and safety regulations, in many cases promised to exceed requirements. State and federal geologists have testified that the water table is 150 feet below the surface and wouldn't be contaminated by dump operations.

Proponents of the dump said they would bury the materials in heavy plastic bags filled with water. They claimed the project would not adversely affect the environment or health of Sevier County residents.

But opposition has remained strong.

If the County Commission should vote to change the zoning, a final public hearing would be required.