Beef plant gets permit, but not without opposition

Adam Rollins, Editor

The Warren County Citizens Planning and Zoning Board has approved a conditional use permit for a beef processing facility just west of Foristell, giving American Foods Group (AFG) the green light to moving forward with the construction of a proposed 500,000 square foot facility.

The planning board met April 21 to make a decision on the proposed slaughterhouse, which would be located on the Veterans Memorial Parkway just outside the town limits of Foristell. After nearly an hour of discussion, council voted 6 to 1 to approve a permit for the facility.

AFG hopes to begin construction of the beef plant by this fall.
Members of the Planning Board spent considerable time debating permit conditions to minimize disruption to several homes immediately west of the facility site. The debate focused mainly on the traffic that would pass in front of the houses.

The homes affected are located on Archer Road, a minor county-owned gravel road that also borders the northwest corner of the AFG project site before crossing the Norfolk-Southern Railroad and accessing Veterans Memorial Parkway. The Warren County Commission and the AFG have jointly expressed an interest in having this crossing converted into a public industrial thoroughfare, from which Archer Road and the AFG parking lot would both separate.

Planning board member Jeff Stassi was concerned that this plan would send damaging industrial traffic directly in front of three homes. He expressed that several acres of land between the houses and the AFG industrial site should be left free of any development, including any new roadway.

“You’re going to have hundreds of vehicles in front of these people’s homes every day, which I don’t think is fair to the owners,” Stassi said.

However, County Attorney Mark Vincent told council he had no authority to tell the Warren County Commission where they could or could not put public roads, including whether the county could build a driveway. industrial building in front of these houses.

To circumvent this problem, Stassi proposed to force the AFG to establish a new access road from Veterans Memorial Parkway – a requirement that would also require MoDOT and railroad company approval.

Council member Brian Nothstine responded that the AFG has already provided comments from MoDOT and the railway expressing strong reluctance to approve a new intersection so close to Archer Road, which makes the two agencies unlikely to accept such a requirement. Other members of the planning board agreed with this assessment.

“That could be a condition that would kill the whole project,” commented member Alan Weber.

Such a requirement, council members agreed, would inevitably be appealed to the Warren County Commission and overturned.
Instead, board members agreed to a restriction that AFG’s private reader cannot access any public road within a defined buffer zone at the northwest corner of the site. , next to the houses. It just means that access to the facility should be slightly further south.

Other Concerns

At a public hearing in March on the AFG facility, neighboring owners expressed several other concerns about the beef plant, primarily related to odors, sewage management and greater traffic impacts on the surrounding area of ​​Foristell. But while discussing a permit, members of the planning board seemed confident that the AFG had resolved those issues to the extent the county government could require them.

On cattle odor or meat processing, AFG and several Warren County business leaders testified that the company’s facilities keep all cattle indoors and use ventilation systems. which maintain constant air circulation and prevent the build-up of any noticeable odors.

Planning board members briefly considered the extra step of a zero smell ban on the facility, but decided against it as it was unclear how such a ban could reasonably be enforced. .

For wastewater, AFG representatives have previously noted that all water used for beef processing would go into a sewage system to be purified, not discharged directly. Wastewater would either be cleaned on site or directed to a new treatment plant that AFG has requested from the regional water board.

And for Foristell traffic, AFG is working with MoDOT and the Warren County Commission to implement turn lanes on Veterans Memorial Parkway at Archer Road. AFG is also calling on the St. Charles County government to build new access roads that would allow trucks to avoid the W/I-70 freeway interchange, which is the area of ​​greatest concern.

For all other concerns, members of the planning board voted to tie the county permit to federal and state government rules for slaughterhouses. Any violation of these rules will also result in the revocation of the AFG County operating license.

About Charles Holmes

Check Also

11,000 potted plants destroyed in 2 raids – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

Police use a Kubota tractor to destroy cannabis during a raid in the Eagle Point …