Plans for a concrete recycling plant along East First Street across from Gateway Park have been abandoned, for now.
Councilman Cary Moon, whose district includes that area, said Thursday that he met with the landowner, Wallace Hall Jr., and told him there was no public support for his project. Instead, Moon said, they talked about other possible commercial uses for the property.
“I just communicated to him that the public process did not come out in his favor,” Moon said. He added, “It doesn’t mean it can’t resurface later.”
Hall confirmed that he will ask to withdraw the project before the city’s Zoning Commission Wednesday, in part to address — “in a thoughtful process” — public concerns. Hall had been seeking a zoning change on the property.
“We need the people to support it,” Hall said. “Councilman Moon obviously is very helpful and upfront, and I appreciate his guidance.”
The Zoning Commission is still required to make a recommendation to the City Council, which will address the case June 21.
In a May report, city staff told the commission that the requested land use would be a “significant deviation” from the future land-use plan for the site.
Hall, who owns nearly 400 acres along the Trinity River in a wetlands mitigation bank, was seeking a change from multifamily and neighborhood commercial uses to heavy industrial.
A few weeks ago, the commission granted a 30-day extension to Hall, a regent for the University of Texas System, giving him time to meet with surrounding neighborhood associations. About 400 east-side residents attended that meeting. Hall was poised to ask for an additional 30 day extension on Wednesday, but that changed after his meeting with Moon.
Residents opposed the plant, saying that the dust is a health hazard and that trucks traveling through the neighborhoods would destroy months of costly revitalization efforts. Noise pollution was also a concern.
“There’s no denying this would be adverse to the quality of life in east Fort Worth,” said Fred Fernandez, president of the White Lake Hills Neighborhood Association. “It’s unfortunate we’re having to face this.”
The White Lake Hills neighborhood is just southeast of the proposed plant site.
The land is north of Gateway Park, where the city is spending millions on improvements, and off East First Street, where the city has built two bridges and made road improvements stretching to East Loop 820.
The median has been planted with 2,000 blooming trees, part of an ambitious East Side Blooms beautification project.
Michael Sanford, who lives just south of Interstate 30 off Oakland Boulevard, said he was most concerned about air quality.
“I just couldn’t believe they were even considering it,” Sanford said. “I just think that’s crazy. We can do better than that.”