Decision nears on concrete plant near Orange County school

Residents worry about noise, toxic dust affecting students

ORLANDO, Fla. - People living in an Orange County neighborhood could find out Tuesday if leaders will put the brakes on plans for a controversial concrete plant to be constructed near a school.

Critics worry that the plant will produce too much noise and even toxic dust. They also disagree with the proposed location, which is just a few feet away from Cheney Elementary off Forsyth Road near Colonial.

In July, Local 6 spoke with several people who live near the school about a petition they started.

"Imagine your children are sitting in class and there's a concrete crusher that's over 90 decibels that's banging away, banging away," said Kenneth Roberts, who lives near the school.

Roberts took his concerns to school board members and the superintendent, who said they could not stop it. According to Orange County commissioners, the plans went through because of a mistake in the books. The neighborhood, Leawood Estates, is zoned as agricultural, so the more than 100 residents were not required to be asked, surveyed or even informed.

"Our hands are tied? Well untie them and do something about it," said Roberts, who was asked about the county's response.

But because of the residents' persistence and involvement, the county commission on Tuesday will hear a moratorium ordinance on "cement, concrete asphalt plants."

The memorandum was drafted by the county's Community, Environment and Developmental Services Department and sent to Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and county commissioners. The moratorium requests "board approval of the Moratorium Ordinance, generally prohibiting new cement, concrete and asphalt plants".

The moratorium will be discussed at a public hearing at 2 p.m.

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