Fenton community protests concrete facility

Bree Soule, Online Editor-in-Chief

During a planning commission meeting in September, Picasso Landscaping proposed creating a concrete facility in Fenton located off Grant Street on Meadowridge Drive. This proposal has sparked the concerns of Fenton community members as the city council has yet to shut the idea down. 

According to ABC 12 News, “Picasso Landscaping asked the city for special permits to operate a mulch and landscaping, retail yard along with a concrete plant and crushing facility.”

Fenton community member Jaci Ettinger has lived in Fenton for 41 years and is worried about the quality of life in Fenton if the Fenton City Council were to approve of such a facility. 

“The proposed concrete plant will create silica dust in our air, release chemicals that can contaminate our water and cause noise disturbances in our neighborhood among other things,” Ettinger said. “The area is also not zoned for this type of operation, and for good reason.”

Ettinger began a petition titled “No concrete plants in our neighborhood” on change.org. The petition has since gained 928 signatures, some of the comments on the petition expressing other citizens’ concerns. Some of these comments included that this type of facility is not residential friendly and would be hazardous to the community. Ettinger also created a Facebook page titled “No concrete plant in our neighborhood” and fundraiser which had raised $430. The money has been put towards yard signs, flyers and media to make others aware of the situation at hand. 

The Fenton City Council is currently waiting on Picasso Landscaping to present the proper documentation, until then, the decision has been at a standstill. 

City of Fenton Communications Manager Chris Clonts posted an update on the issue to the “Keeping up with Fenton” Facebook page including the following information: City Council member Brad Jacob had been to the site on Monday, Oct. 25, and saw evidence of site work beyond what’s allowed. City Manager Lynn Markland stated in the meeting, “Appropriate measures would be taken if work continues without the requested approvals.” 

Discussion has been tabled until the next planning commission meeting which will take place on Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. Until then, local residents have continued lining the roads with yard signs in protest of the concrete plant.