© 2022 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Residents halt a proposed concrete plant project near the Shaw Nature Reserve

A forest in Gray Summit, Missouri.
Great Rivers Environmental Law Center

A group of Franklin County residents have halted plans to build a concrete plant near the Shaw Nature Reserve. 

Concerned residents appealed a 2016 Circuit Court decision that would have allowed Landvatter Ready Mix to build its plant at a proposed site in Gray Summit. The Court of Appeals for the Eastern District of Missouri ruled Tuesday that the Franklin County Planning and Zoning Commission should have given residents a chance to comment on the project.

The residents, who created a group called the Concerned Citizens Against Landvatter Ready Mix, complained that a concrete plant would increase truck traffic near their homes, worsen air quality and bring down property values. They argued that the plant should be built in an industrial park. 

"We weren't allowed to voice any of our concerns," said Kelly Brothers Mason, who lives near the site. "A concrete plant is dirty and dusty so therefore there would've been pollutants on the ground, around it and laying on the trees." 

The Missouri Botanical Garden, which conducts restoration work at the Shaw Nature Reserve, also opposed the project. 

"We are pleased that this development will not go forward as this would have negatively impacted Shaw Nature Reserve," said garden president Peter Wyse Jackson in an emailed statement. "We are sure there are other more appropriate locations for this venture." 

However, Landvatter Ready Mix could still find another way to build the plant at the site, said Kathleen Henry, a lawyer at the Great Rivers Environmental Law Center who represents Mason. 

"The developer might refile a new application for some kind of rezoning," Henry said. 

A map that points out the proposed location of a Landvatter Ready Mix concrete plant near the Shaw Nature Reserve.
Credit Mapbox, OpenStreetMap
The location where Landvatter Ready Mix planned to build a concrete plant near the Shaw Nature Reserve.

Henry added that Franklin County officials have a tendency to side with developers because such projects often promise to add more jobs to the area. Landvatter Ready Mix proposed building the plant at the site in Gray Summit in 2014. 

Landvatter Ready Mix and Franklin County officials did not respond to requests for comment. They have 15 days to respond to the ruling. 

Follow Eli on Twitter: @StoriesByEli

Eli is the science and environment reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.