Despite efforts to reduce impacts on neighbors, Richmond Wholesale Meats in Marina Bay will undergo a permit review following continued complaints of excessive noise and unhealthy diesel fuel emissions.
On Tuesday, council moved to hold a public hearing at the Planning Commission about whether the company’s conditional use permit to operate at 2920 Regatta Blvd. should be modified or revoked.
Late last year, Richmond Wholesale closed its Factory Street facility in North Richmond and concentrated operations at Regatta Blvd. Until that happened, neighbors who had lived by the Regatta Blvd. facility for years said they had no complaints.
In March, the Richmond Confidential reported on meetings between neighbors and the business regarding early morning truck activity and what the residents described as a sharp increase in diesel emissions.
Richmond Wholesale has been responsive to the complaints and says it has implemented a number of mitigations.
Among the changes, policies were implemented and signs installed to curb truck idling, an operations manager for the company said. In addition, refrigerator storage containers that once pumped out diesel exhaust now operate on electricity and face away from homes. A sound wall was built and other steps were taken to reduce noise and lighting at the facility.
Despite the improvements, neighbors say enough hasn’t been done to mitigate impacts.
“I still continue to awaken at 5 in the morning at the sounds of their machinery,” one resident said Tuesday.
Another neighbor agreed Richmond Wholesale has reduced its lighting impact down from “stadium lighting” and added noise continues to be excessive. A third neighbor said she has to sleep with the windows closed, but noted Richmond Wholesale operators appear to be doing their best to respond to concerns.
Company officials call council’s decision to have their conditional use permit reviewed a waste of time and money. They say the company abides by regulations in its location, which is zoned for light industrial, and has been a model business in the city since 1959, supplying jobs and donating to local nonprofits and other community efforts.
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