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The possible terminal may be built near Roanoke's Morningside community.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Neighbors are upset by a Missouri company’s plans to build a five-tank, 360,000-gallon propane and butane terminal in an old industrial area south of Roanoke’s Morningside neighborhood.
Their concerns weren’t particularly eased after a two-hour meeting between an ad hoc community group and a company official Wednesday afternoon.
“We had a good discussion, a healthy discussion,” said Mark Powell, president of the Southeast Action Forum.
But after reviewing several possible site plans, he said it still felt as though the plant was too close to where people live.
It also could affect several nearby undeveloped lots that are currently intended for residential use and would have an impact on the Roanoke River Greenway , he said.
“It still just doesn’t make sense,” he said.
Powell said he hasn’t met any city residents who like the idea of locating the facility on the site, even though he and others understand the city’s desire to promote economic development.
Inergy Services LLC plans to invest $3.6 million in the project, according to a request to rezone the land filed with the city planning department. The company expects the terminal will employ five people.
The rezoning request will come before the Planning Commission and City Council in September. Members of the Southeast Action Forum plan to discuss the issue at their monthly meeting Thursday evening.
Inergy is proposing to install three 60,000-gallon tanks for storing propane and two 90,000-gallon tanks for butane, and it expects there would be about 10 rail cars on the site at any one time.
The company expects the terminal will generate additional traffic of two trucks an hour during the winter and fewer than that in other seasons. It will need two rail deliveries a day during the heating season.
The site is about 450 feet west of the Roanoke River and 1,230 feet from 13th Street. The company’s application says the facility will be separated from the Morningside neighborhood by steep wooded bluffs, while the Roanoke River floodway would buffer the site from homes to the east.
If the city council approves a rezoning, the company would still have to submit a site plan that would allow a detailed review of the terminal’s layout by the fire department and other city agencies.
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