Neighborhood fighting to stop concrete plant from being built

People in Lake Forest are getting a new neighbor, and they’re not happy about it. A concrete plant is being built across the street from their homes.
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 10:32 PM EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - People in Lake Forest are getting a new neighbor, and they’re not happy about it. A concrete plant is being built across the street from their homes.

Neighbors are concerned about the potential noise and air pollution that comes with an industrial plant. They’re also worried about big, heavy concrete-filled trucks coming in and out of the plant at all hours of the day in the residential area, which is just down the street from a school.

Construction has already started on the plant, which came as a surprise to the people who live there.

“How does nobody in the Lake Forest residence know that this concrete batch plant is actually going in?” said Ross Kowzan, who lives directly across the street from the plant.

The people living in the neighborhood said they were never notified.

“It was neighbor to neighbor playing telephone and text messages,” neighbor Nick Berg said. “When it’s a safety concern, word spreads fast.”

A statement from a spokesperson for the plant said in part: “SI Ready Mix’s Concrete Mixing Plant at Aiken Road was unanimously approved through a publicly noticed hearing several months ago.”

When the plant presented the plan at a Development Review Committee meeting in March, commissioner Jeff Brown pointed out that no one from Lake Forest was there.

“I’m a little surprised, I don’t think there’s anyone here speaking in opposition,” Brown said. “I’m surprised that Lake Forest didn’t have concerns with fugitive dust.”

Brown said he’s seen what concrete plants do to a residential area. Kowzan said he did his own research to see what the effects are.

“The CDC, the NIH, they’ve done research on this,” Kowzan said, “and have actually seen with kids that are developing that living close to a concrete plant with particulates in the air actually decreases the development of their lungs.”

Down the street from where the plant is being built is Stopher Elementary School and the St. Mary’s Center for adults and teens with disabilities.

Carla Dixon has a daughter who attends St. Mary’s.

“They are outside often doing walking exercises, gardening, all of those kind of daily activities that they do, and just the residue from the concrete facility could be very detrimental to their health,” Dixon said.

Lake Forest residents have asked the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District to deny the permit for the plant. The APCD is reviewing it.

The plant’s full statement:

SI Ready Mix’s concrete mixing plant at Aiken Road was unanimously approved through a publicly noticed hearing several months ago. The property on which the mixing plant is located is not in the Lake Forest subdivision. It is located on property that has been zoned Industrial (M-3) for several decades, long pre-dating the development of Lake Forest. The primary operations of the site are removed from Aiken Road and appropriate landscape buffers will be utilized to improve aesthetics. This industrial area already includes a rock quarry, making the location of the mixing plant appropriate to serve the tremendous construction growth in this area of our community. In obtaining its permits and approvals, SI Ready Mix has not only complied with all relevant regulations, it has exceeded them, which it will continue to do as a good neighbor, and to provide needed services for the growing area.”

WAVE — Louisville and Southern Indiana's NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram...
WAVE — Louisville and Southern Indiana's NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @wave3news.(WAVE)

Copyright 2022 WAVE. All rights reserved.