The Montgomery County Board of Appeals has rejected a controversial proposal by a Rockville businessman to build a depot as part of a privately run system for hauling tons of construction debris out of the county.

In a departure from usual procedures, the five-member board initially declined to cite its reasons for denying a plan by Irvin Levine to each weekday bring 150 tons of steel, drywall and other debris from area construction sites to his lot on Southlawn Lane, just north of East Gude Drive, and eventually haul the trash outside the county.

Levine's proposal, and another one by William Mossburg to operate a similar but much larger facility next to the one proposed by Levine, are the first applications in the county for privately run waste transfer stations.

An opinion in the Mossburg case has not been issued, but sources familiar with the case said it also failed to win board approval.

The plans, among the most controversial the board has considered, were opposed by residents, businesses and developers who were concerned about the waste stations' impact on traffic and the environment.

Next month, the Montgomery County Council will hold a public hearing on whether the county should allow the board to approve privately operated waste transfer stations, which have been considered one way of solving the county's landfill shortage.

Usually, when the board denies a so-called special exception proposal, the opinion specifically states members' concerns about the project. In its decision Sept. 7 on the Levine plan, the board stated only that the project failed to get the four votes needed for approval.

The board meets in closed sessions when debating cases, with only members and the board's executive secretary present. There is no public record of those meetings.

Levine, who plans to appeal the ruling to Montgomery County Circuit Court, said, "I paid $5,000 for this hearing {the standard fee for a board case} and they're not going to tell me why? I'm plenty angry."

Board member William S. Green said that when a project fails to get the four votes necessary for approval, the law does not oblige the board to reveal its reasons. He said that, technically, the board did not issue a formal resolution denying the project, but simply failed to get sufficient votes. But he was expected to issue a statement sometime this week on his reasons for rejecting the plan.

Norman Knopf, the lawyer for civic groups, businesses and residential developers opposed to the Levine and Mossburg projects, said that while his clients are "delighted" by the board's action, he is surprised at the lack of detail in the board's statement.

"We think the evidence . . . for denial is overwhelming, and we would have, of course, preferred a written opinion explaining the reasons based on the evidence for denial," said Knopf.