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West Midtown residents worry a new concrete plant will hurt environment, snarl traffic

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“Dropping a heavy industrial facility into the middle of all of this revitalization seems like an asinine planning move,” says neighbor

a picture of Howell Mill Road
Howell Mill Road is quickly developing, but neighbors are worried about a concrete plant that could rise nearby.
Jonathan Phillips, Curbed Atlanta

Although development west of Midtown is chugging along at a remarkable, billion-dollar pace, plenty of neighbors are fired up about a new proposal they claim would be a burden on the area’s traffic problem and cancer for the environment.

Curbed Atlanta has received multiple emails from concerned citizens angry with a proposed Blandtown plant that would bring a Smyrna Ready Mix concrete-mixing facility to 1521 Huber Street, around the corner from Topgolf.

The heavy industrial complex—as the property is zoned for—is expected to sit less than a mile from the Beltline’s Northwest Trail to-be.

Neighbors complain that the concrete company, by its own admission, would be sending trucks on upwards of 60 trips per day along two major thoroughfares, Chattahoochee Avenue and Huff Road.

Site of the proposal.
Google

And then there’s the possible environmental disturbance.

“Concrete plants are significant sources of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and carbon monoxide emissions,” said Nathan Lee, a West Midtown resident, in an email to Curbed Atlanta citing Environmental Protection Agency findings.

Additionally, said Lee, West Midtown, with its rising and planned projects, is already straying from its industrial identity. Others call the area the Upper Westside these days.

“West Midtown, and Blandtown specifically, is quickly moving away from its recent industrial and commercial past towards residential, retail, restaurant, and entertainment,” he said. “Dropping a heavy industrial facility into the middle of all of this revitalization seems like an asinine planning move.”

Lee and others who reached out, such as concerned neighbor John O’Brien, said a Beltline-adjacent townhome project led by Brock Built Homes could be adversely impacted by SRM Concrete’s new facility and the traffic congestion it could bring to the aforementioned streets, in addition to others leading to the plant.

“If the cement factory is approved, the immediate neighborhoods, Brock Built’s WestTown Phase 1 and 2, plus another 40-plus townhomes in development by other builders, will be immediately impacted by 60-plus daily trips by cement trucks and material delivery trucks,” wrote O’Brien. “Fairmont Avenue is a narrow two-lane street that cuts through the heart of the neighborhood and crosses over the future Beltline.”

The concrete plant proposal will next go before Atlanta’s planning board.

SRM Concrete has not yet responded to a request for comment for this story.