SANTA MARIA - Homeowners in one Santa Maria neighborhood are taking their fight to city hall to try and stop a large, new recycling plant from being built near their backyards.
The Santa Maria City Planning Commission has approved the large new recycling center on the southwestern edge of the city, on farmland along Betteravia Road between Black Road and A Street.
It would be run by SA Recycling, one of the largest recyclers in the country, and would accept aluminum, glass and scrap metal as well as older vehicles.
More than 100 people who live in residential neighborhoods near the planned recycling plant have appealed the Planning Commission's decision to the Santa Maria City Council.
They claim the project was not adequately reviewed for traffic and environmental impacts and poses a health threat from pollutants that will affect their neighborhoods which includes an elementary school.
"So its not just 26 diesel trucks a day, 18-wheelers that are going into their property", says Carol Moore, one of the homeowners behind the appeal, "its also a (vehicle) crusher that wasn't in the description in the documents that the city provided us."
"I'm concerned about the kids that are here", adds homeowner Jerry Porter, "we want nice fresh air and everything like it was in the past and we don't want it to change."
The more than 100 residents in the Westgate residential subdivision also say their property values will be negatively affected by the city's recent-rezoning of the farmland involved from agriculture to industrial use including planned oil and gas production.
Their appeal of the SA Recycling Center permit will come before the Santa Maria City Council on February 19.
The company's previous attempt to build a recycling center on the 700 block of West Fesler Street was rebuffed after concerns from residents in that area.
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