Did Maya Energy Reps Mislead Gary BZA?

Matt Reardon told Gary Board of Zoning Appeals 7 trucks per day would travel on Chase Street. “Maya misleadingly presented its proposed project to the BZA and City Council as a facility for recycling paper and cardboard which would only receive a handful of trucks per day.” Joint public comment of Steel City Academy, a group of citizens and Hoosier Environmental Council

March 14, 2018-According to a transcript of a Gary Board of Zoning Appeals meeting held in May, 2016, Maya Energy Owner/Consultant Matt Reardon made several misstatements to the Board when seeking a use variance for the Little Calumet River property where Maya seeks to build a recycling facility. It is unknown whether those misstatements were intentional or erroneous, but at a meeting with Steel City Academy, Maya officials said they would process approximately 2400 tons of waste per day. That would require at least 100 trucks per day.

Representatives from Steel City Academy, Hoosier Environmental Council,and several local activists and groups (“Opponents”) filed a joint public comment regarding the project. In that comment, Opponents argued that the variance was granted for an address located at 3500-3600 Chase Street, Gary, IN. This is significant, according to Opponents because the actual address on 35th Avenue may not be able to handle the truck traffic to the facility. “Traffic concerns are no small matter at this location. 35th Avenue is a narrow street bounded by deep drainage ditches . . . portions of the road already nearly slide into the ditches and it takes little imagination what a steady flow of heavy trucks would do to this infrastructure” the opponents write in a statement.

Traffic was a primary concern of the BZA and Common Council who ordered traffic study to be completed even though they were told that only 7 trucks per day would access the facility. It appears that traffic study was never conducted. There was no discussion of trucks accessing the facility via 35th Avenue and traffic intereference with Steel City Academy was never discussed. Representatives from Steel City Academy have also said they were not notified of the variance application.

The Little Calumet River Basin Development Commission will meet tonight at 6:00 p.m. at Munster Town Hall. While the License Agreement entered into between the LCRBDC and Maya Energy, LLC will not be on the agenda, the public may comment on this important issue. You can see the agenda Here.

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Copyright 2018 The Northwest Indiana Gazette

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