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Board blocks concrete plant near school

April 06, 2006

The Hagerstown Board of Zoning Appeals on Wednesday denied a request for a special exception to open a ready-mixed concrete plant in an industrial zone on Florida Avenue near Western Heights Middle School.

The board made its decision in a 4-0 vote.

Appeals board member Janice E. Kelsh said she had concerns about the health and safety of children and other residents nearby.

LaFarge North America Mid-Atlantic LLC proposed opening the plant.

Neighbors and Washington County Board of Education officials lobbied against it at a Board of Zoning Appeals hearing last month.

In addition to health and safety concerns, the appeals board said noise and large truck traffic on narrow roads in the area could cause problems.

The board said there were other industrial zones in the city where such a business would have less-adverse effects.

Craig S. Vacovsky, LaFarge North America's manager of fixed plants for the Eastern U.S. region, testified last month that ready-mixed concrete products would be loaded on trucks at the plant and delivered to Washington County customers.

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He said it would have a state-of-the-art system to prevent dust from getting from the plant or its trucks into the neighborhood air.

- Tara Reilly

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