BRISTOL, Va. — A concrete mixing operation will be allowed to operate until 11 p.m. if City Council agrees with Monday’s Planning Commission decision.

After some discussion, commissioners unanimously approved two conditions for the special exception being sought by King Commercial Contractors. The company intends to manufacture concrete retaining wall blocks inside a building at the rear of its 200 Bob Morrison Blvd. property.

One of the proposed conditions would limit any production to between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. — a time schedule the business owners said was acceptable. However, the commission approved an expanded schedule.

“I can see this growing and that would mean longer production hours,” commission member and Vice Mayor Kevin Wingard said. “If we shut the door on them for a second shift then we will be back in here in a year or two talking about it all over again. I cannot see where that equipment would be a burden on local houses in the area … it’s a mixer.”

The company plans to manufacture blocks for its own use and to sell to other vendors.

It plans to use a concrete mixer and then fill molds that would remain inside the building. The special exception is needed because the property is zoned M-1 light industrial, which doesn’t allow concrete production. It is allowed in an M-2 zone, but this isn’t a rezoning request.

Commission member Todd Buchanan said he spoke with the applicants regarding the machinery and any noise level it might produce.

“There’s two things. You have an auger, which turns inside the cement mixing material that drops it off to a conveyor that goes inside the building. So the majority of the noise-making parts are inside the building and they’re basically three-phase motors. They make a buzzing sound; there’s not a lot of noise involved,” Buchanan said.

According to the application, the company intends to operate the concrete mixer twice daily for about 2.5 hours per time. The company expects to hire two additional full-time employees.

The second condition is the project must comply with all state and local requirements for storm water management and air pollution control. The applicant is currently seeking an air emissions permit and a storm water permit from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

City Council held a public hearing on the request at its April 9 meeting and is expected to consider the matter April 23.

Also on Monday, the commission agreed to schedule a work session next month to finalize revising city sign ordinances, so those changes could ultimately be sent to the council for approval.

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