We are concerned with the proximity of this proposed facility to the Lavon/Wilson Creek watershed and the many toxic chemicals that will, inevitably, run off. These chemicals will harm the environments through which they travel, their wildlife inhabitants, and, ultimately, end up in our drinking water supply. The proposed location actually even has a marked tributary of Wilson Creek located directly adjacent to the property.
Subject line: Update: Concrete Plant News Developments – New Heavy Industrial Plans
Recently, Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary representatives learned that an approval for a concrete recycling plant (planned for a property 1 mile from the Heard), had very quietly made its way through McKinney’s Planning & Zoning Committee. At the time, it faced little to no opposition (quite likely because very few were aware it was on the table—20th century communication for 21st century plans). It was approved by McKinney P & Z in August.
This Monday, October 4 (NOT Tuesday--mark your calendars), it goes to City Council for final approval, including an annexation ordinance (that is already written up and ready to sign—posted on City of McKinney’s page http://mckinney.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=9852506&GUID=0B1A9947-A7D5-4980-975C-96B47EC5CA8A). Now that the City Council Agenda has been posted (as is required within 72 hours before the meeting), we now have access to a DIFFERENT version of the LOI that completely differs in the indicated intentions with regards to Heavy Industrial (HI).
Version 1: Listed HI Intentions per first-known “Letter of Intent” listing on P&Z (marked July 23, 2021):
“The Property is currently under contract to an entity whose primary business is concrete and construction materials recycling, as well as concrete batch plant and associated activities. The addition of the above additional permitted uses will accommodate the anticipated activities of the purchaser, while restricting many of the more intense uses permitted under the HI-Heavy Industrial zone.”
(See full document here: http://mckinney.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=9725627&GUID=186996E4-6944-4B35-A864-AC32C7DFCFDE)
Version 2: Listed HI Intentions per now-published (via City Council Agenda) version of “Letter of Intent” (also marked July 23, 2021:
“As referenced above, a separate application requesting Heavy Industrial (HI) zoning of the Property is also being submitted for review and approval.”
(See full document here: http://mckinney.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=9852504&GUID=644462FD-31AF-441F-AA4A-217E1C5F533F)
Our Position on This Matter
Whatever the cause of this information only now being released, the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary is wholly opposed to new Heavy Industrial facilities being built so close to this nature preserve. Moreover, we are concerned about ecological ramifications to other neighboring properties and natural resources.
We are concerned about the following:
- Health issues from the pollutants generated will be applicable to our staff, volunteers, visitors, all neighbors and wildlife due to dust/silica that will make its way into the air.
- The City Council has a duty to protect the health and welfare of the citizens of McKinney.
- These duties to health and welfare are being sacrificed in the name of supposed "Protecting Future Development" and "Fiscal Responsibility,” which we maintain cannot be achieved without the health and welfare of the citizens.
- This action is also in opposition to the City’s self-proclaimed “Unique by Nature” motto, which, in of itself, functions as an over-arching promise to the citizens, whether intentional or not.
- There have been recent, as yet unfulfilled, resolutions to close existing cement plants (which happen to be in relative regional proximity to the new location. These existing locations have already been cited numerous times for inability to properly maintain EPA mandated standards with regards to health and pollution issues as well as nuisance issues.
- City Staff has been quoted to be in opposition (within just the last two years) to any facilities of this kind. It is important to reflect on what has precipitated the changed in opinion. See the following for more details. https://communityimpact.com/dallas-fort-worth/mckinney/government/2020/03/02/city-starts-process-to-shut-down-two-mckinney-concrete-plants/
- We are concerned with the proximity of this proposed facility to the Lavon/Wilson Creek watershed and the many toxic chemicals that will, inevitably, run off. These chemicals will harm the environments through which they travel, their wildlife inhabitants, and, ultimately, end up in our drinking water supply. The proposed location actually even has a marked tributary of Wilson Creek located directly adjacent to the property.
- The City attempted to push through a similar plan for a nearby location last fall; however, when given a chance to fully express their voice in the matter, the voters overwhelmingly turned it down. Have the voters have changed their mind?
There are many more reasons to be opposed to this plan, but this is a preliminary list.
How Can You Help?
Marketing & Communications Director at Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney, Texas.