By a narrow margin, Roger Landvatter’s conditional use permit was approved by the Franklin County Planning and Zoning Commission.
On Tuesday night, the commission voted 6-4 to approve the permit to allow a concrete manufacturing plant at Old Route 66/W. Osage Street across the street from the MoDOT facility near Pacific.
Chairman Bill Evans, Co-Chairman Jay Schultehenrich, Donald Voss, Tim Reinhold, Ray Cunio and Joe Feldman voted in favor of the CUP. Tim Baker, Dan Haire, John Fischer and Russell McCreary voted against the permit.
Kevin Kriete was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.
The permit was approved despite heavy objections from nearby neighbors and other business owners in the area. More than a dozen letters were sent to the commission against the plant.
Shaw’s Nature Reserve, located near the site, wrote a letter encouraging a no vote out of fears of noise and dust.
Other concrete plants nearby wrote to the commission saying the area didn’t need another plant.
Before voting took place, Baker said he opposed the plant. He said several residents had contacted him with a variety of concerns.
“Safety is a huge issue there with trucks coming down and hitting Route 66,” Baker said.
Baker said Pacific’s industrial park has a vacant concrete plant that would be ideal for Landvatter and the neighbors.
“The industrial park is really more suited for one of these plants instead of having it out on a major throughway.”
McCreary also said he planned to vote no after touring Landvatter’s operation in Kirkwood.
McCreary said it was a nice operation, but he saw a lot of dust and heard the trucks over the roar of traffic behind him.
“This is a tough decisions,” McCreary said. “On one hand, we’ve got a good operation that will provide jobs. . . . On the other hand we have people that have been living there. Yeah it could be done, but would it be the right thing to do? We have to take into consideration the people who have been there for years.”
Evans said he also went to the Kirkwood plant and found it to be quieter than he expected.
“It was nothing I’d consider loud,” he said.
Schultehenrich, a member of the 3-person review committee that voted 3-0 to approve the permit, said the concerns were heard.
He said 11 conditions were put in place by the review committee in an attempt to address some of the issues.
“Noting the concerns in regards to the noise, we tried to address that as best we could,” Schultehenrich said.
One of the new conditions requires Landvatter to divide the land into two sections with one section to act as a buffer zone for the residents along Old Gray Summit Road. The two tracts of land must be separate and can’t have access to each other.
To divide the two tracts, the commission is requiring a 50-foot buffer of trees.
In an effort to curb noise, the commission is requiring the loading zone for trucks to be on the northernmost part of the north tract.
The commission also will be limiting loading hours. From March 1 to Oct. 31, trucks can only load from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday to Saturday. From Nov. 1 through the last day of February, trucks can load from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Night loading hours will be permitted based on contracts or emergencies.
Landvatter also will be required to pave the area of the property where trucks will be operating.
“I think we did our best to basically address some of the concerns, noting that yes, there is some concerns,” Schultehenrich said. “When we looked at it, this is what we came up with and we consider it to be viable for the conditions to be placed upon the requesting party.”
Opponents of the plant have 90 days to file an appeal with the board of zoning adjustment. Franklin County Counselor Mark Vincent said any objection would have to legally stand up in court.
“They have to build a record to show that there’s a problem with it,” Vincent said.
If an appeal were made, board of adjustment vice chairman Fred Thatcher would have to recuse himself from the process because he is the real estate agent for Landvatter.