Twelve hours into Wednesday’s Dallas City Council meeting, District 9 Councilwoman Paula Blackmon’s motion to deny approval for a special use permit for concrete and asphalt batch plants at Zacha Junction was unanimously supported by her colleagues on the Council. Blackmon’s motion was “with prejudice,” meaning the applicant, Martin Marietta and Austin Bridge, will not be able to make a similar request for two years.

The denial was in stark contrast to the Plan Commission’s approval of the same request by a 13-1 vote March 5. Citing lack of community engagement, Blackmon delayed the Council’s consideration of the permit at the May 27 Council meeting so East Dallas neighborhoods could weigh in.

And weigh in they did, with 25 people taking their allotted one minute to express their opinion and asking the Council to vote against the proposal. Speakers urging denial included Kirsten Swanson, leader of the newly formed East Dallas Greater Good, 9-year old Rheeden Fuentes of Lochwood and Dallas ISD board member Dan Micciche.

Dallas Cothrum of MasterPlan, representing the applicant, was the only voice to speak in favor of the request. Cothrum emphasized the site’s rail service would significantly reduce heavy truck traffic during the reconstruction of Interstate 635 East, the catalyst for the applicant’s request.

In putting forth her motion, Blackmon signaled that she would work with staff and neighbors to address the dilemma this request exposed — heavy industrial zoning of this site, first granted in 1954, is not consistent with the neighborhood development that has taken place over the last 65 years.

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