Letter: Concrete plant would be detriment to neighborhood

From: Theresa and Marty Books


We agree with the opinion letter by Melinda Johnson regarding the concrete recycling facility proposed for the property across the Flat Rock River from the Lagoons and Noblitt Park. This facility is guaranteed to lower property values of any residences near it. And make no mistake, being located on State Road 11, this property may appear to be farther out of town due to the driving path needed to get there. But in reality it’s about 100 feet from some very nice and peaceful residential properties and a city park.

This would be no different than locating the facility in the farmland east of the Park Forest neighborhood and north of the playing fields at Parkside School. The dust and noise and possible toxins would be just as unwelcome there. Furthermore, the proposed location is one mile upwind and upstream of downtown Columbus, so its impact may more widespread than the proposal indicates.

With regard to toxins, there are no tests of incoming concrete for toxicity at these facilities, so concrete from any industrial site can find its way there for recycling, affecting air quality and ground water.

The noise would be the single most noticeable impact. We’ve all heard jack-hammers break up concrete. Not quiet. It takes loud, hammering action to break up concrete. This facility will be crushing concrete from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each and every day. The noise will affect life up and down Washington Street and throughout downtown. And the crusher machine will not be the only source of noise. Heavy equipment will be required to move materials around the property. So the sound of the crusher will be accompanied by front-end loaders working on the property.

And then there’s the flooding impact. Locating a business with such a high quantity of bulk ground covering materials in a flood plain will only make flood risk worse for others. If there was a repeat of 2008, the actions taken by those living in the Lagoons to improve their chances against flood damage (at significant cost) will have been for naught. To us, this is unconscionable.

It seems that one of the arguments for this proposal is that it’s for recycling, and recycling is good. We agree. Recycling is good. Education is also good. But we wouldn’t locate a school in the middle of a row of factories. City planners have to be smarter than that in how they segregate land use for the greater good. This operation has a right to exist, but it does not need to exist so close to residential and recreational areas. It can be just as profitable on a property away from residences.

We have lived in the Donner Park and Lagoons neighborhoods since arriving in Columbus in 1995. As we stated, this will lower property values for those in close proximity, which is a kick in the teeth for a neighborhood that reinvested in itself and rebuilt after the 2008 flood. Don’t pull the rug out from under us.