County Council rejects Fred Weber's rezoning request for asphalt pile
July 06, 2005 - The County Council has rejected a re-zoning request by Fred Weber Inc. for the company's reclaimed asphalt pile at its south quarry in Oakville.
The Planning Commission recommended Jan. 31 that the the County Council approve Weber's rezoning request to accommodate the company's reclaimed asphalt pile, as long as certain conditions were met. The council had 90 days to consider the request and twice extended the deadline to consider the recommendation.
But the council on June 21 elected to drop the issue from its agenda, in effect denying the request.
County Council Chairman John Campisi, R-south county, who asked the council to drop the issue, said he twice had extended the deadline on the recommendation to allow for tests by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the county De-partment of Health to be completed.
"I was waiting for a lot of that information, and everything seemed to be coming back negative and not in favor of the Fred Weber pile," Campisi said.
The county Department of Public Works in early 2004 issued a violation to Weber for the storage of reclaimed asphalt pavement on adjacent property not part of the quarry. Storage of the reclaimed asphalt was not permitted under the zoning for the site, according to a report accompanying the Planning Commission's recommendation to the County Council.
Weber then moved the material onto the quarry property — the site of another asphalt pile — and the county issued a second violation. County Counselor Pat Red-ington determined that the storage of such materials at the site is accessory not to the quarry, but to the asphalt plant authorized on the ground within the quarry zoned M-3 Planned Industrial District, the report stated.
The Board of Zoning Adjustment upheld Redington's interpretation.
Weber then filed suit against the county, seeking to overturn the Board of Zoning Adjustment's decision.
Weber also requested that the land's zoning be changed from the Non-Urban Dis-trict and Flood-Plain Non-Urban District to the M-3 Planned Industrial District and the FPM-3 Flood-Plain Planned Industrial District so that the company can continue to use the site to store and recycle asphalt.
The 22.8 acre site is on the southeast side of Baumgartner Road nearly 2,100 feet southwest of Heintz Road. The site is used for quarrying operations, outdoor storage of recycled asphalt pavement, crushing and stockpiling. Roughly 275,000 tons of reclaimed asphalt is stockpiled at that site, according to Weber estimates.
The Planning Commission's recommendation required Weber to decrease the height of the pile from 65 feet to 25 feet within one year and cut the eight-year supply down to a two-year supply of asphalt within six years.
The commission's recommendation also required Weber to improve the stormwater control at the site to prevent toxic materials from flowing into Mattese Creek. The company also would need a truck-washing operation at the site to prevent the spread of asphalt dust and to cut toxic and corrosive fumes from the northern and eastern ends of the land.
Weber attorney Gary Feder of Husch & Eppenberger said he had believed the County Council would approve the rezoning request because the Planning and Zoning Commission had unanimously recommended approval of it.
"We certainly had anticipated we would be approved by the County Council, and the County Council never did anything. ... They just let it die on its own," Feder said.
Many nearby residents had opposed the rezoning and wanted the asphalt pile gone.
Weber had made known before that if the recommendation was not approved, then the company may have to move the pile to the quarry site that is actually closer to area residents.
"The area of concern is only so big, and if he tries to move the whole pile on there of course we'll know he's gone over the rezoned area, and so that will be investigated also," Campisi said. "But he has every right to move the pile to the portion of the property that does allow it, and there's nobody that can stop them from doing that. The only concern that anyone is going to have is that is it over the property line that allows that sort of thing?"
Campisi said residents knew that Weber may move the asphalt pile to a location closer to their homes.
"I think they were willing to weight the risk, and I guess as they used to say, call his bluff," Campisi said.
Feder said the company is awaiting a ruling on the suit it filed against the county. He said the company always had believed the pile was legal at its existing location and there was no need to move the pile or change the zoning.
"At the moment we feel there isn't anything to do but wait to see what the court rules on it, and then we'll decide what to do from there," he said.
Feder said he anticipates the court will rule by the end of the month.