Residents fighting recycling company, parish can't stop it
DENHAM SPRINGS - People in one subdivision in Livingston Parish don't plan on throwing a welcoming party when a recycling company moves next door.
Residents in the Gray Creek subdivision near Denham Springs support the industrial business but don't want it in their backyard. Eastside Recycling plans to move from its current location on Pete's Hwy to a site on Florida Blvd just outside Denham Springs.
"Industrial uses are good but they belong with other industrial uses, not next to the residential," said resident Carl Highsmith. "So nobody wants to wake up in the morning to the sound of heavy machinery, equipment and dust going on right in their backyard. Nobody wants that, so that's not what we expected when we came here and that wasn't the case when we bought here."
With limited zoning restrictions, there is nothing the Livingston Parish Council can do to stop the company from moving next door to the subdivision. As long as the business meets buffer requirements and other regulations it will get the green light from the council, according to council chairman Chance Parent.
"When we first took office we passed a master plan to start trying to implement zoning a little bit. We got a lot of public pushback on that, but I think now with all this stuff going on that they'll be more receptive to giving the public some kind of protection, and that's what we're looking at for the future," he said.
The recycling company plans to address resident concerns by building a 20-foot tall warehouse to block the view of the new scrapyard. The company will also eliminate dust by using concrete and will cut down on noise by buying newer equipment.
"Ideally we'd like to not have it, but if we can't and the council and the parish can't and won't prevent it then we'll have to do the best with them coming here," said Highsmith.
Both sides plan to meet to work things out.