Concrete Batch Plants
Frequently Asked Questions About Concrete Batch Plants
Some manufacturing operations located at State Highway 5 (McDonald Street) near Stewart Road have recently received attention from nearby residents due to concerns about various issues like noise, lighting and air quality. These operations include two concrete batch plants (TXI / Martin Marietta Ready Mix and Cowtown Redi-Mix) and a lime slurry facility (Lhoist North America of Texas). In response to citizens’ concerns, the city is actively monitoring the properties and working to gain compliance with all applicable city regulations.
1. What is a concrete batch plant?
A concrete batch plant or batch plant is manufacturing operation that uses equipment to combine various ingredients to form concrete.
2. What is lime slurry?
Lime slurry is used for a variety of industrial, municipal and environmental applications. In McKinney, it is commonly used to stabilize the ground underneath a roadway.
3. Why are concrete batch plants necessary?
In a rapidly growing community such as McKinney (and Collin County), the production of concrete is a critical part of construction activities. Concrete is used in sidewalks, roads, building foundations, walls for buildings, etc. Many concrete batch plant facilities operate temporarily for specific construction projects and often go unnoticed by the average citizen.
4. How long have these uses been at this location?
The area has been designated for industrial land uses since as far back as the 1964 General Development Plan (now referred to as a Comprehensive Plan) for the city. There have been manufacturing uses in this location, including concrete batch plants, since at least 1996.
5. Where are concrete batch plants allowed?
In general, temporary concrete batch plants that meet all applicable regulations are allowed to exist on a construction site in support of construction activities. However, permanent concrete batch plants are only allowed within certain industrial zoning districts as outlined in the city’s Zoning Ordinance. Zoning and rezoning requests that come before the city are reviewed and evaluated for conformance with the city’s comprehensive plan and are heard before the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council for consideration and action.
6. If allowed by the Zoning Ordinance, will City Council review and approve development applications for a permanent concrete batch plant?
No. Temporary concrete batch plants that meet all applicable regulations are permitted through the standard development permitting process by city staff. In order to build a permanent concrete batch plant, a site plan must first be approved. Typically, site plans that meet applicable development regulations are approved at the staff level. Staff does not have the authority to disapprove a site plan that meets all applicable regulations. If a site plan does not meet all applicable regulations, staff must forward the site plan to the Planning and Zoning Commission for action. In rare instances, a property’s zoning may require City Council approval.
7. What types of regulations apply to these types of facilities to ensure the health, safety, and general welfare of the public?
The city has regulations that govern a number of aspects of the built environment, including but not limited to noise, lighting, air quality, vehicular traffic, stormwater, landscaping, screening and the overall development of a site.
8. How does the city enforce its regulations and ordinances?
Enforcing regulations in McKinney is a partnership between city staff and the public. While staff strives to proactively monitor and enforce all applicable city regulations, due to the rapid growth and large incorporated area of McKinney, some enforcement comes about as a result of citizen-initiated concerns.
9. What can the city do about air pollution?
Air quality is primarily governed by statewide rules set forth by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The city proactively works with the TCEQ to ensure that all applicable regulations are satisfied. Given recent concerns related to air quality raised by some McKinney citizens, the city is currently evaluating ways in which we can supplement the work that TCEQ has performed to date.
10. What is the city doing to protect residents located near permanent concrete batch plants?
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) receives many complaints statewide related to many different environmental issues. Because of the volume of complaints received, their resources are typically spread very thin, making enforcement difficult. However, the McKinney Code of Ordinances allows the city to assist the TCEQ in this process. Ensuring that businesses and operators comply with all applicable city code requirements is a priority to the city, and we are currently evaluating ways in which we can supplement the work that TCEQ has performed to date.
11. What is the city doing to control the overnight lighting of permanent concrete batch plants?
The city’s Code of Ordinances governs the lighting on all properties within the city. This governance includes capping the amount of light that can cross a property line and how light is controlled on a site. A site’s lighting is designed, installed and inspected as part of the traditional development process but old properties may have lighting in place that no longer meets current regulations. Regardless of the age of the site, city staff investigates all lighting complaints and utilizes equipment to test lighting levels. If violations are identified, then appropriate enforcement actions will be pursued in order to gain compliance with applicable regulations.