To allow a concrete plant near the Shaw Nature Reserve and homes at Gray Summit is a terrible decision by the Franklin County Board of Zoning Adjustment. The board upheld the issuing of a conditional use permit that will allow the concrete plant.

Opposition leaders plan an appeal to circuit court. The Franklin County Planning and Zoning Commission granted the conditional use permit (CPU) last March for the plant at Old Route 66/West Osage Street, across the street from the MoDOT facility. The site is close to Pacific. People opposed filed the appeal.

Opposition was based on what the operation of the plant would do to the environment. Noise and air pollution and the truck traffic were given as reasons why the plant should not be allowed. The owner and plant operator would be Landvatter Ready Mix, which has facilities in Kirkwood and St. Charles. The company said the negative effects on the environment would be minor.

A party to the opposition is the Great Rivers Environmental Law Center. The opponents argued that property values would suffer because of noise, dust and truck traffic, and that the nature reserve would be harmed by the adverse effects. Concern about sewage problems was expressed.

It also was pointed out that the company has had issues with the state over the operation of its other facilities. Another concern was that water runoff would eventually reach the Meramec River and contaminate it. The runoff may harm the nature reserve also, it was pointed out. The company said existing regulations and conditions for operation would prevent damage to the environment.

There was some confusion on procedures during the hearing. Opposition members at the meeting said the procedure followed on the motions and voting was confusing. A story on the hearing was in the Weekend Missourian.

The decision by the board should be appealed. The potential for damage to the environment and to property values is too great to permit the plant. Does it make any sense to put this plant next to the nature reserve?