City of Stonecrest denies rezoning for concrete mixing plant

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STONECREST—The City Council on Nov. 23  unanimously denied a request by 404 Concrete, LLC  to rezone 2.2 acres at 2547 Lithonia West Drive from M (light industrial) to M-2 (heavy industrial) for the operation of a concrete mixing plant. The vote was 5-0. Mayor Jason Lary was on sick leave and did not attend the meeting.

The council reached its decision after holding a public hearing in which two residents submitted opposition letters that were read by Deputy City Clerk Sonya Isom during the virtual meeting. City staff had  recommended denial, saying the subject property is located within a light industrial area and the proposed rezoning would not be in keeping with the policy and intent of the Stonecrest Comprehensive Plan if it were rezoned heavy industrial.

Ron Kennebrew, who owns 404 Concrete, LLC, said the community is unfairly comparing his business to Metro Green Recycling Three, LLC. The City of Stonecrest, which is in litigation with Metro Green, is seeking to halt construction of the Metro Green plant, which crushes and recycles construction materials.

City Attorney Winston Denmark has argued during the ongoing hearing that the state of Georgia’s Department of Environmental Protection Division(EPD) issued Metro Green a land disturbance permit based on a verification letter that it obtained from the City of Stonecrest’s City Manager at the time, bypassing DeKalb County’s Waste Management Department’s decision to deny permitting the project. Community residents have opposed the plant, saying that it would bring pollution to the area and harm property values.

Kennebrew said his company mixes concrete—not crushes it. 404 Concrete also uses water sprays, enclosures, hoods and central duct collection systems for air quality control.

“We’re not trying to poison any one or ourselves,” said Kennebrew, adding that family members work in his business. “We have the state-of-the-art technology to make sure the air is clean and definitely the water is clean. …I don’t really know why they’re (community residents) are saying that we’re doing recycling because we’re not doing concrete recycling…  They’re comparing us to Metro Green is just bizarre. We are not anything like Metro Green. We’re manufacturing…concrete with water, gravel and cement.”

Kennebrew had originally submitted a request for rezoning in July but said he withdrew the application to try to find another location in the city for his company. He said he was unsuccessful.

Mayor pro tem George Turner asked if anything had changed since the staff’s recommendation for denial the first time that Kennebrew requested the rezoning and then withdrew the request.

Planning and Zoning Director Chris Wheeler said the only thing that materially had changed was that the city engineer had determined that stormwater runoff from the proposed plant would be significantly cleaner due to the company’s filtration system.

“Staff’s issue, again, is the specific use (for the property) in being solely heavy industrial. If this use were allowed in light industrial, there wouldn’t be a question at all,” Wheeler said.

 

2 comments

  • Joe Smith

    November 25, 2020 at 8:52 pm

    Not in Stone crest with poison odor and smell and noise. Take it somewhere else. We vote NO.

    Reply

  • S

    November 27, 2020 at 11:25 am

    Mr.Kennebrew said that his company wasnt trying ” to poison anyone or ourselves” and that he has family members that work his business.

    Uh..first of all what does family members have to do with the control of potential toxins going into the air? There are family members who have screwed other family in their business. Even if they all work well together,the point that he seems to not want to get is the people dont want poisonous / unattractive plants in their neck of the woods.

    Mr. Kennebrew also claims that his business have state of the area equipment to control the poisons. How many times have people heard this line before? Supposedly, he also says that he’s “manufacturing…with water concrete,gravel and cement.”

    Maybe it’s just me or I just dont know about industrial plants as Ive never worked in one but most of the ones I know deals with some sort of chemicals/ emissions of smoke. Whether, you’re making papers,Clorox ,recycling stuff..it involves some sort of internal/ external hazard.

    I think about the quote that Mr. Kennebrew brought up about his company just “manufacturing and mixing gravel,concrete and cement.” He doesn’t seem to think its no big deal.

    My brother’s former workplace dealt with making sweets. In the natural,if Mr.Kennebrew owned this plant he would say its not poisonous..they’ re only mixing flour,sugar, milk,water chocolate.. but his ( my brother) job dealt with chemicals..mainly to preserve the freshness and taste of the desserts. His former company have also had to be fined for toxins being exposed to their workers/ injured.

    Its ironic that Mr.Kennebrew want to differiate his company because they’re not trying to poison the world as he said but his company is no different from Metro recycling. If you’re dealing with an industrial plant / materials chances are you’re dealing with some sort of chemicals and the smoke comes outside. It just amazes me how some of these companies are begging to puy these kind of poison in our communities.

    Kudos to the the City Of Stonecrest for voting this hazard out of their city and Im hoping for a win against Metro recycling.

    Reply

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