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Foes appeal OK of Santa Rosa asphalt plant expansion

By KEVIN McCALLUM

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Neighbors of a Santa Rosa asphalt plant are hoping the City Council will clear the air Tuesday over concerns raised about a major plant

Bodean Company's Santa Rosa plant operator Anthony Boyle runs the batch plant from the control room on Monday, April 23, 2012. (CHRISTOPHER CHUNG/ PD)

upgrade.

A group of West End residents is asking the council to overturn a Planning Commission decision allowing Bodean Co. to add three, 82-foot high storage towers to its longtime operation.

Citing concerns about air quality, they first want an environmental impact report to be prepared for the project.

The company says the $1.5 million project would actually improve air quality around the plant, located near College Avenue and the railroad tracks, by reducing truck idling time and capturing vapors from fresh asphalt as it is dumped into waiting trucks.

The company says the new storage won’t increase the plant’s production capacity but merely make it run more efficiently.

Neighbors, however, worry that what Bodean calls an “upgrade” is really an expansion that will increase the amount of asphalt produced at the plant and the resulting dust, truck traffic and odors.

The distinction is important because the plant’s zoning status doesn’t allow it to expand operations. That’s because the six-acre site, while zoned for residential development, has a right to continue as a “legal non-conforming” as long as any expansions don’t “increase the degree or the detrimental effects” of the industrial use.

Neighbors have been passing out literature raising questions about the emission from the plant, including filing complaints with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

An air quality inspector visited the plant recently and may be performing some testing this week, said Allen Thomas, a leader of the West End Historic and Neighborhood District.

The plant is currently recycling used tires to create rubberized asphalt, a process that makes smooth roads but also horrible odors, he said.

“It’s really bad. It smells like burning rubber,” he said.

Even if the council rejects the call for a environmental report, Thomas said neighbors are committed to opposing the plant’s annual permit from the air quality district.

“It’s a heavy industrial use in a residential area and the two are not compatible,” he said.

You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or kevin.mccallum@pressdemocrat.com.





3 Responses to “Foes appeal OK of Santa Rosa asphalt plant expansion”

  1. Jethro says:

    If this noxious plant was on the east side of Santa Rosa, it would have been gone a long time ago. City officials only allow industrial activities such as a large asphalt plant on the west side, where none of them live. What a great argument for district elections of Santa Rosa City Council members!

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  2. Shadow says:

    What a waste of time and money. The silos being put up will help and reduce emissions since the loader isn’t feeding the plant. When will these people realize that what they’re doing to the business owner is adding costs to the product when sales to start back up? I suspect their lawyer and consultants who are advising them are paid hourly and are telling them what they want to hear, not the facts.

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  3. Jim Bennett says:

    Bodean was there before ICLEI’s Smart Growth intentions. The people that live in the neighborhood knew the plant was there.
    They use synthesized consensus through neighborhood groups to carry out the Agenda. Which is to crash anything they can’t monopolize.

    They’re turning our town into a slum.

    Santa Rosa under performs, as does all of California. Why?
    Because we are the template for this oppressive sabotage.
    Demographically, geographically, agriculturally we have it goin’ on.

    This WAS a desireable place.

    This is why the beautiful hub of the Wine Country is taking on a vibe like Fresno.

    This anti-business, anti-property rights, anti-free market crap that WE PAY THEM to screw us with.

    They don’t want to remodel, they want to build a whole new structure of oppression.
    So.
    They’ve got some demolition to do…
    they’re doin’ it.

    Dutra needs competition. Remember, Free Market?

    KICK ICLEI OUT while we can still afford boots.

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