SHARON TWP. — An Orville-based trucking and concrete plant will seek a variance that if approved, would allow it to build a new concrete plant in the township.
Sharon Township Zoning Inspector Neil Jones said Orrville Trucking and Grading Co. filed the variance request with the township Jan. 22.
If approved, the variance would allow the company to construct an 85-foot-tall tower as part of the concrete plant. Jones said 40 feet is the maximum height allowed in the industrial district where the company wants to build its plant.
Jones said he believes the plant address would be in the 6000 block of Ridge Road if approved.
The variance request, and the possibility of a concrete plant, has not gone unnoticed by Sharon Township residents.
“There have been a lot of people who have stopped in and asked questions about it and of course there is stuff on social media,” Jones said.
Jim Reynolds said he has lived in the township for 15 years, and has some serious concerns for potential noise and dust from the plant and the trucks that would be driving in and out of it.
Reynolds said Thursday that the idea of a concrete plant being constructed in Sharon Township is “unthinkable to virtually everyone” he has spoken with about the issue.
“My concern is that they are going to have an access road coming next to my house that is going to have a constant stream of the heaviest trucks on the road,” Reynolds said. “This little circle there, imagine all that truck traffic just going around there, and it is just a two-lane road each way.”
Reynolds said Orrville Trucking and Grading Co. owner David Renner previously invited area residents to tour his plant in Orrville, and answer questions and concerns, but he still has reservations about the project.
Reynolds said he has his doubts regarding claims made by Renner that if constructed, the plant would be a zero-emissions facility.
Renner said Friday that he has two other ready-mix concrete plants in operation, and they both create zero emissions.
“It is a zero-emissions plant and we will be explaining that in great detail at the meeting,” Renner said. “We are going to have drawings and pictures and explain to everybody exactly how we are able to do that.”
Renner said a sound study has been completed on the 60-acre property, and it shows that there should be no audible noise from 500 feet away.
Renner said the majority of concrete plants in the world were built 50 years ago, and there is a difference between those and his modern facilities.
If constructed, the plant would employ 10 to 12 individuals, including truck drivers, Renner said.
“There are a lot of people with misconceptions about our industry, and that piece of property is quite possibly the best piece of property I have ever seen to build a ready-mix plant on,” he said.
Jones said that if the company is approved for the variance, the next step of the process will be the conditional use permit.
The conditional use permit would be issued by the board of zoning appeals at a later date, and deal with noise, dust, traffic, placement and building locations, Jones said.
Renner said that if he believed the construction and operation of a ready-mix concrete plant in Sharon Township would negatively affect the quality of life of its residents, he would not build there in the first place.
“Hopefully everybody will give us a fair chance and sit and listen to,” Renner said.
The Sharon Township Board of Zoning Appeals will meet 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the township administration building, 1322 Sharon Copley Road, Sharon Township.