Springfield's Board of Zoning Appeals voted unanimously Wednesday night against approving a conditional use permit to the developers of a proposed state-of-the-art $2.5 million recycling center and solid waste transfer station that was to be located on Springfield's south side.
The project has been opposed by many residents in the area. Several residents from the predominately African-American Southgate neighborhood voiced concern over how increased traffic, noise and odor would lower the value of their properties.
Dale Henry, who is the president of the Southern Gateway Association and a former city commissioner, submitted a petition with 900 signatures to the zoning board opposing the permit. He says Southgate residents are relieved the waste transfer station won't be located in their backyard.
"We certainly turned out tonight and showed that there was major opposition and people on the South side believe consistently that this would be the last thing we need on the South side of Springfield is a trash transfer station," Henry said. "We're exceptionally happy about the turnout tonight and the vote."
Kevin Dewey, co-owner of Recycle Clark County LLC and the proposed developer, testified in front of the Zoning Board that the site wouldn't be a traditional landfill or a dump, but a replication of the many recycling centers that are being developed across the country like the one in Troy. But after the vote, he says it's clear that the neighborhood was against the project.
"We don't wish to harm or injure anyone by trying to do something socially responsible and positive," says Dewey. "But after hearing the statements and testimony, we do need to find a location a little farther away from a residential area just in the event that something did go wrong and put people's minds to rest."
Dewey says that he will still consider locating the waste transfer facility in Clark County, but will also look at other areas as well.