Padnos, Local Groups Prepare For Industrial Shredder Hearing

A western-Michigan salvage yard operator coming to Howell is preparing for a hearing while a local activist group and a charitable organization continue their protest.

Padnos Iron and Metal was granted preliminary site plan approval and special land use permit to add a tower building and scrap shredder to their property at 645 Lucy Road by the City of Howell Planning Commission in November. On Wednesday, January 22nd, Howell Community Development Director Tim Schmitt said the Holland-based company will be back before the local Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) for a hearing and decision on 3 items related to the site: the use of gravel in the storage area, the use of gravel in the parking area, and the allowance of equipment outdoors. Schmitt said, “That’s all they’re reviewing. They can’t overturn the Planning Commission’s decision. Even if they were to turn down the variances, the applicant can make changes to meet the code and it’s still approvable.”

Unhappy with the approvals and prospect of an outdoor shredder, Protect Livingston and Livingston County Catholic Charities are protesting the decision. Schmitt said that Padnos believes that what they are proposing to have outdoors doesn’t meet the definition of a shredder, and so he and the City are waiting to see how they approach it.

In a Facebook post, Protect Livingston is asking residents if Livingston County should be the place other counties send their junk cars and metal waste. They are against the potential BZA approval to allow the scrapper to be run outside, citing less protection for residents from fires, noise, explosions, and air pollution. Schmitt says that Padnos has provided the City with a great deal of information on how they try to avoid those problems. He said many environmental concerns will be addressed by the air quality permit that state issues, and that there is already a lot of ground water monitoring on the site from its former use as a landfill. Any issues, should they occur, Schmitt says, will be caught “very quickly.” Catholic Charities appealed the special land use permit but was denied. Padnos’ location is behind LCCC’s and Executive Director Mark Robinson said in a release that it is concerning that the City would approve the installation of a shredder behind their building, as they provide critical services to vulnerable adults, many of whom suffer from memory-related diseases.

The BZA meeting with Padnos will take place at 7pm on the 22nd, at Howell City Hall. (MK)

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