HOWELL – An asphalt manufacturing plant proposed for Yellowbrook Road was recently approved, much to the dismay of the scores of residents that turned out to the Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting.
After being postponed from the April 29 zoning board meeting because there were so many people that they couldn’t fit in the room, the application for L&L Paving Co. Inc. was heard on May 20 at a special meeting held at Middle School South.
The meeting dragged on for nearly four hours, more than half of which was spent on comments from the public.
A majority of residents who spoke were opposed to the facility, citing heavy traffic, safety concerns, high noise levels, toxins produced by the asphalt, contamination of Yellow Brook, and unsightliness, among others.
L&L Paving Co. plans to build an asphalt manufacturing plant located at Block 177, Lot 62.01, otherwise known as 89 Yellowbrook Road.
The application was for Use Variance and Preliminary and Final Major Site Plan approval to remove a portion of the concrete manufacturing facility and replace it with their asphalt facility. Various changes are expected to be made in the area including improvements to a storage facility, the implementation of a control building, weigh station, and office, the removal and replacement of 13 acres of impervious coverage with landscaping and a total of 250 trees, among other improvements.
The 35-acre property was purchased by the company back in 2016, according to previous testimony by Lance Redaelli, owner of L&L Paving.
L&L plans to install grass on 11 acres of the property that is currently pavement, and install a two-way driveway on Yellowbrook Road, near Cranberry Road, that truck drivers will use to both enter and exit the facility.
The facility would operate from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Despite strong public opposition, the application was approved with five votes in favor from Chairman Wendell Nanson, Vice Chairman Michael Sanclimenti, and members Matthew Hughes III, Thomas O’Donnell, and Jose Orozco. Members Richard Mertens and Herbert Massa were the only two votes against.
O’Donnell noted that L&L Paving’s application was heard 16 times before the final May 20 meeting.
“I have 47 years in this town, 15 on the zoning board, I’ve heard many cases and I understand that nobody likes anything being built close to them…I’ve always heard ‘not in my backyard’… ‘build it elsewhere’,” said O’Donnell. “If we had to listen to that every time, there would be nothing built in town.”