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Proposed Oceanside Concrete Plant Not Mixing Well with Residents

Residents in Oceanside are speaking out about a proposed concrete plant in their neighborhood. Full Focus Reporter Heather Hill has the story.

Residents in Oceanside are speaking out about a proposed concrete plant in their neighborhood. Full Focus Reporter Heather Hill has the story. A plan to put a Robertson’s Ready Mix concrete plant in Oceanside is stirring up quite a bit of controversy in one local neighborhood.

The Oceanside Planning Commission approved the project proposal for a three-acre site near a residential neighborhood. But residents in the Loma Alta area worry that it will bring increased traffic and pollution to the nearby Loma Alta Creek. They say a concrete facility doesn’t mix with their residential community. But the company says the state-of-the-art project isn’t a typical industrial plant.

Rhinerson: Well, when most people think about a concrete batch plant they think of big piles of  sand and aggregate and a big ugly tower and cement trucks coming in and out. That's what you see when you drive on construction sites, and you know coming down the freeway and you see them.  This plant is going to be very, very different.  It's a very advanced environmentally-friendly design which we think will be a model for concrete plants that are built in cities in the future.

Rhinerson says the plant would be 100 percent enclosed and all of the mixing and loading of the trucks would be done inside. The company says this unique design meets city noise and water quality requirements. They also plan to buy a fleet of trucks including five hybrids to reduce air pollution. But Greg Root, president of the Neighborhood Association, says that won’t address the traffic congestion problem. He says the current industrial zoning of the property is no longer appropriate for the growing residential area.

Root: The community has changed radically over the last 30 years and certainly over the last ten years to much more of a residential base. So I think what really needs to happen is that area needs to be changed to light-industrial from heavy-industrial.  There needs to be a zoning change in order to make it more appropriate for the community.

The neighborhood group is also calling for a moratorium on all industrial building in the area until current pollution to the creek can be addressed. The Oceanside City Council is due to vote on the concrete plant proposal in February. Until then, the plans are not set in stone.