The US Army Corps of Engineers has determined that a proposed cement distribution plant on River Road Cincinnati would negatively affect more than a half-dozen historic properties in this West Side neighborhood.The corps said the plant proposed by Lone Star Industries would adversely affect the viewing corridor of the Gracely Drive Historic District - a stretch of land deemed eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The corps, along with Lone Star, has drafted an agreement that includes modifications to the plant site design that could avoid or minimize the negative aspects. The agreement is the final step in the corps’ consideration of whether to issue the permits required to build a portion of the plant. Before the agreement can be finalised it has to be accepted by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the Ohio Historic Preservation Office.
The city of Cincinnati and Sayler Park’s community council and historical preservation association would also be given an opportunity to sign the document. The Army Corps issued a public notice last month asking for public comment on its findings and the memorandum of agreement.
Sayler Park residents have been fighting since 2000 to stop Lone Star Industries from building a cement distribution plant on the old Home City Ice Co. site. Lone Star, based in Indianapolis, wants to construct two 112-foot-tall silos and four 23-foot-diameter mooring cells to give barges access to the facility. The corps granted approval of the project in 2002 and signed off on a permit that would allow barges to operate. But later that year, a federal District Court judge revoked the permit and stopped Lone Star from continuing construction, saying the corps violated the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.
Under the proposed agreement, Lone Star would agree to: Incorporate noise reduction measures. Purchase 12-foot-tall trees to screen silos from the Gracely Drive Historic District view corridor. Consult with residents about painting and color schemes that would soften the impact of silos. Create a 50-foot-wide buffer area planted with trees.