Commission approves Site Plan for construction of asphalt plant

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By Bill Short

The Millington Municipal Planning Commission approved a Site Plan this week that was submitted for construction of a new asphalt batch plant on Veterans Parkway.
Commission members took the action Monday night during their regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Mike Caruthers and seconded by Curtis Park.
The motion was passed by six affirmative votes, with Brenda Barber absent.
Charles Goforth, planning consultant for the city, said Standard Construction Co. owns 16 acres now on Veterans Parkway that were originally on Raleigh-Millington Road and zoned M-1, Light Industrial.
He noted that, in the 1980s, the company operated an asphalt batch plant there, which it closed in 2006.
Goforth said Standard has a contract with the Millington Memphis Airport to repave the runway and desires to open a new plant at its previous location.
He noted that, when Veterans Parkway was constructed, that area was re-zoned P-C, Planned Commercial, which normally does not allow such a plant.
But the Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen recently passed an ordinance on two readings that allows asphalt or concrete batch plants to be constructed in certain zoning districts.
With Site Plan approval by the commission, such plants will be permitted in the M-3, Restricted Industrial District.
They will also be a use permitted on appeal as a Special Exception by the Millington Board of Zoning Appeals in B-2, General Commercial; P-C; M-2, General Industrial; and M-P, Planned Industrial, districts.
But they must be located on a four-lane or wider roadway at least 500 feet from any residential area, with their production equipment and trucks screened from the street by buildings, landscaping or fencing.
Goforth said Standard will close the existing entrance at the south end of the site, and a new entrance will be constructed at the traffic signal.
While noting that there is already “a pretty good screen of trees” along the front of the property, he said “a few little vacant areas” will be supplemented with an additional planting of evergreen trees.
A chain-link fence will also be installed on the “back side” of the trees.
Goforth said an existing tower on the property will remain and be a part of the development.  
But he noted that Standard is requesting a height variance to allow two 60-foot-tall silos and two 42-foot-tall bins to be constructed on the property about 96 feet from the road.
Goforth said he submitted this information to Airport Manager Roy Remington, who “did not see a problem” with it.
“This site is lower than the runway,” he added. “And it’s far enough away from the zone that it doesn’t fall into it.”
In a related action, the commission voted to refer Standard’s request for a Special Exception and the height variance to the BZA.