Call for Fuel Standards

Fire trucks and concrete mixers, semis, heavy-duty pickups and all trucks in between will, for the first time, have to trim fuel consumption and emissions of heat-trapping gases under new efficiency standards announced Tuesday by President Barack Obama.

Roger Landvatter wants to expand his Kirkwood-based concrete business into Franklin County.

Landvatter presented his case for a conditional use permit to the Franklin County Planning and Zoning Commission at the Feb. 18 meeting. The CUP would allow Landvatter to open a concrete plant Old Route 66/W Osage Street across the street from the MoDOT facility near Pacific.

The Landvatter Ready Mix facility would be the company’s third, joining plants in Kirkwood and St. Charles.

Landvatter said the location was chosen because it fills a hole in the area. He said there aren’t many plants in the area and putting one close to Pacific could better serve the market.

The plant would also add 25 jobs.

While the location worked well for Landvatter, the choice didn’t sit well with several residents.

Several neighbors from a subdivision located on Old Gray Summit Road came to the meeting and spoke out against the facility.

“This is wrong, we shouldn’t have to put up with this,” Mavis Huff said. “We moved to a residential neighborhood. It’s not zoned for that.”

The chief complaints from the nine speakers were noise, dust and a potential decrease in property value.

“I’ve lived on this road for 48 years,” Phyllis Cook said. “We are a residential area, not commercial, industrial, whatever. We do not need all of this dust and noise. . . . This is going to disrupt our lives astronomically.”

Landvatter said noise wouldn’t be much of an issue and neither would dust. He said the layout of the land would help both of those issues.

The tract of land Landvatter is purchasing is proposed to be divided up into two tracts. Tract one, a 10-acre area closest to Osage Street, will be the primary site for the concrete plant. Landvatter’s spokesman at the meeting, Cameron Lueken, of Wunderlich Surveying and Engineering, said the actual facility would be 650 feet away from the nearest residence.

Lueken said there is a part of the first tract that is 380 feet away, but Landvatter has no plans for that area.

Tract two, Landvatter said, would act as a undeveloped buffer.

“Right now, we have no plans of doing anything with it,” he said.

The commission told Landvatter that, if his current CUP request is approved, he would have to request another permit if he does intend to do anything with the second tract.

“The conditional use permit says he can operate a specific business under specific conditions,” Chairman Bill Evans said. “He can’t enlarge that property or change the use of that property. It has to stay on that 10 acres and it has to be that specific business.”

Despite the buffer in place, some neighbors were worried about truck noise. Landvatter said his St. Charles plant has about 30 truckloads coming and going per day and he expected similar traffic at the new plant.

“The modern day trucks, they’re not like they used to be when I started out,” he said. “They’re quieter. You won’t hear any additional noise than you would if a vehicle is going down I-44.”

One neighbor said that would be too much.

“My biggest concern is noise,” Louis Vodern said. “He stated that it’s not any louder than traffic going down Interstate 44, well we can hear them at the MoDOT shed loading salt. I work in the construction industry, I’m around heavy equipment, this stuff is loud.”

Commissioner Tim Reinhold pointed out that railroad tracks are nearby and potentially just a noisy.

Landvatter said there would be a main production building and silos to store concrete. Storage bins for sand and limestone would be stored outside, along with extra concrete blocks that he sells.

The commission unanimously agreed to leave the public hearing open until Feb. 28 for any more comments or information. The item will then move to the review committee and should be on old business at a later meeting.