LAX Bows to Neighbors, Seeks to Move Plant Site

Times Staff Writer

Faced with strong opposition from community groups concerned about dust and noise pollution, Los Angeles International Airport officials said Thursday that they will recommend that a proposed concrete plant be built elsewhere.

The officials said they will seek approval from airport commissioners next month to construct the plant on the north side of 111th Street about one-quarter mile west of La Cienega Boulevard. The site presently is a parking lot.

They had recommended that the commissioners allow the plant to be built on about two acres of vacant land on the west side of La Cienega, near Lennox Boulevard. The rejected site is closer to business and residential areas than the new one.

"We sort of had to twist their arms," said Salvatore Grammatico, president of A Coalition of Concerned Communities, an organization of more than a dozen groups that opposed the 111th Street location. "I think it is in the best interest of the airport to cooperate with the community."

The coalition argued that the plant, which will be operated by Torrance-based Greene's Ready Mixed Concrete Co., would not only create dust and noise problems, but add to traffic congestion in the Lennox area, as well.

Maurice Laham, chief of the airport's environmental management bureau, said airport planners do not believe that the plant will pose any pollution problems because it will be fully enclosed. For example, the plant's silos will be covered, thereby eliminating the dust common to concrete plants.

Nevertheless, Laham said pressure by community groups was a factor in the search for an alternative location. Additionally, he said, the officials themselves determined that the new site is superior to the old because it is in an industrial area and, more importantly, not under the flight paths leading to the airport's southern runways.

Representatives of the concrete company could not be reached for comment.

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