Request to change zoning in Quincy worries residents

Property on the northeast corner of 30th and Locust Streets is being requested to be zoned as heavy industrial, paving the way for a new asphalt plant.

There will be a public hearing over the request to change a property zoning on the northeast corner of 30th and Locust Streets in Quincy into heavy industrial, paving the way for a new asphalt plant.

This plot of land has been the sight of controversy before. Last year, complaints arose whether the land was suitable for a planned elementary school.

Residents of the Drakewood Subdivision expressed concerns over smells and dust from a proposed plant, and they have organized an effort against the zoning change.

"There's a petition drive in our subdivision, there's one in a couple of the other sub divisions also,” said Mike Bryson, a resident in the Drakewood Subdivision. “No one, in our neighborhood, wants that because of the smell, for the kids' health, our own health and everything else."

The Drakewood Subdivision is flanked on all sides by industrial properties including Knapheide to the north, Hollister Whitney to the west and Wis-Pak to the east.

"The property from the city's planning process, and this goes back probably 20 years, targeted this area in northeast Quincy, the 30th and Locust area, as planned industrial, which means it's being reserved for industrial use,” said Chuck Bevelheimer, director of planning and development in Quincy, "The planned industrial was there a long time ago, well before the Drakewood Subdivision, that's been in our zoning code for 25-35 years."

The proposal first goes through the Quincy Planning Commission. A recommendation will then be made to City Council, which will then vote on the ordinance which would change the land’s zoning.

Third Ward Alderman Paul Havermale says Laverdiere Construction will have to show that the proposed plant would not have big impacts on quality of life in the area before he would get behind the idea.

"I always have a tendency to come down on the side of business, but in this case, because of the nature of the business that's proposed, I think the impetus is on the petitioner to prove that it's not going to impact the area," Havermal said.

Havermale and area residents also agree that this proposed plant, in addition to other cement and asphalt plants in the area, may result in an accumulation of dust and smells to cause an issue.

"If they want to build, maybe go outside town somewhere,” Bryson said. “We already have two asphalt companies here in the community, plus concrete companies and everything else. One more from out of town? We don't need. Let's keep it local."
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