A final meeting is set later this week for the City of Howell’s Board of Zoning Appeals to make several decisions about a controversial industrial shredder.

Padnos Iron and Metal, on Lucy Road in Howell, has requested three variances for their site which already has site plan approval and a special land use permit. Two of the variances are requested to keep storage areas and driveways gravel as opposed to needing to be paved. The third is for the allowance of an industrial shredder to be kept outdoors, and not in an enclosed building.

A previous meeting last month was originally scheduled to decide those issues, but was delayed after the board received a 100-page packet just hours before by an attorney representing the interests of several groups, including Livingston County Catholic Charities, whose offices are adjacent to the proposed location of the shredder. They, along with many neighbors and others, are worried about air and noise pollution that could be created and the potential for groundwater contamination. They specifically want the city to enforce the current standards that require the shredder to be enclosed.

Board members say they have limited power and can’t reverse Planning Commission decisions, but only approve or deny the variance requests. And in fact, a legal firm representing Padnos has since submitted a letter saying that issues of traffic, airborne emissions, noise, vibrations and hazardous substances were addressed by the Planning Commission and will all be adequately regulated under current standards.

The rescheduled meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals will be held this Thursday, February 20th at 7pm in city council chambers. (JK)

Picture courtesy of Louis Padnos Iron & Metal Company showing a shredder during installation that would be similar to the one being proposed in Howell.