Monday Feb 06, 2023

Washington County planners reject permit for concrete business after neighbors complain – Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette


FAYETTEVILLE — Washington County planners on Thursday rejected a conditional use permit to allow a concrete pumping business to park trucks, trailers, equipment and other vehicles on land on Sherry Road after several neighbors complained about the project.

The county’s Planning and Zoning Board voted 6-1 to deny the permit for J&J Concrete Pumping. Neil Helm cast the lone vote in favor of the permit request.

The permit was being sought for about 6.6 acres of property at 20104 Sherry Road, east of Springdale. According to information from the planning staff, the business has been in operation at the site without a permit and the county sent a cease-and-desist letter to the owners in April. According to the planning office, neighbors began complaining about the business operation in December 2021 and the complaints continued through March. After the cease-and-desist letter was sent, the Sheriff’s Office issued two citations to the owners for continuing to operate their business without a permit.

Comments from neighbors were unanimously opposed to the permit.

Tommy Ishmael put his complaints in an email to the Planning Office, writing that, “J&J Concrete is not a good neighbor.

“They make no effort to blend into an area zoned for residential and agricultural purposes,” Ishmael wrote. “It is extremely common for numerous trucks to come banging and clanging down a single lane private road daily from early morning to late evening, with much noise and chaos; their concrete business trucks also come tearing down Sherry Rd from early morning until late in the evening. Their workmen shout and holler with no regard or respect for time of the day or others. It is a very disruptive business and it is clear they regard their concrete business as the most important issue in the world and their surrounding neighbors as a mere annoyance to be ignored.”

“I have read the proposed CUP description you provided and it is completely devoid of facts as they exist and as they have handled their business in the past,” Ishmael said in his email. “They currently have numerous trucks, vehicles and equipment parked haphazardly around the property. They use the front as a dumping ground for scrap and waste material and in general have turned the property into an ugly eyesore. I have several pictures taken within the last week to prove this if you desire to see them.”

“In short, sir, this business is precisely why we have zoning laws, to prevent disrespectful and non-compliant businesses from destroying our community, wrecking our property values and in general making home life miserable,” Ishmael said in his email. “We have built a wonderful neighborhood out here and have blended into this agricultural area precisely as the Washington County Planning Board intended. J &J Concrete has not done so. They disregard zoning laws.”

The neighbors who spoke at the meeting echoed Ishmael’s complaints and asked that the permit be denied.

Jessica Serrano, owner of the business, said the neighbors mischaracterized the situation. Serrano said the property has three homes on it and the families have their own personal vehicles parked there. She said the company doesn’t do work on the site but does wash some equipment and park some vehicles. Serrano said the construction debris the neighbors complained of was from the construction of the homes and a shop building. She said the business has been trying to comply with the county’s regulations since they were made aware of them.

“We’re trying to …….


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