McKinney City Council modifies noise ordinance, rezones 3 industrial plant properties along Hwy. 5

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After years of discussions and complaints filed with the city and state, McKinney residents now have some answers when it comes to the regulation of three industrial plants along Hwy. 5.

CowTown Redi Mix and Martin Marietta produce ready-mixed concrete. Lhoist North America, which supplies lime slurry, is adjacent to Martin Marietta.

In 2018, residents living near the industrial plants brought their concerns about the businesses before McKinney City Council.

During a meeting April 16, City Council approved an amendment to the code of ordinances related to noise and the measurement of sound. Council also approved a city initiative request to rezone 40.33 acres of land where the businesses reside.

Director of Planning Jennifer Arnold said amending a section of McKinney’s ordinance related to performance standards is intended to bring the city’s forms of measurement into today’s standards.

“What we have in place today has been around since about the ‘80s, so they are quite antiquated. They are quite out of date. They are not comparable to some of our sister cities,” Arnold said during the meeting.

The ordinance change also provides extra clarity for residents and businesses, according to Arnold.

To determine whether a business is in violation of the city’s code, staff looks to two ordinances—one related to noise and the other involving performance standards, Michael Quint, executive director of Development Services, said in a previous interview with Community Impact Newspaper.

Prior to the change in April, to determine if a business was in compliance with the city’s noise ordinance, staff would measure sound in nine octave band frequencies or pitches. The city’s code listed a maximum permitted sound pressure level, or decibel, for each octave band measured.

The new ordinance simplifies the measurements. A business or person would be in violation of the city’s noise ordinance at a residential property line if the sound pressure level of activity exceeds 65 decibels for daytime hours and 58 decibels at nighttime, according to the new ordinance. At a nonresidential property line sound pressure level of any activity should not exceed 70 decibels for daytime hours and 60 decibels at nighttime.

Daytime hours are from 6 a.m.- 9 p.m., according to the ordinance.

This is in line with maximum decibel levels outlined in the code of ordinances for nearby Allen and Plano, Arnold said.

According to city’s noise ordinance, a business can still not operate power equipment between 10 p.m.-7 a.m. if it is located in a residential district or quiet zone. A quiet zone extends 500 feet from the nearest property line of any residential district or property with a school, college, hospital, library, clinic or other noise-sensitive facility.

Under the new zoning, the three industrial plants cannot expand. Operations on the property today are legally nonconforming, but the uses were grandfathered in under the new zoning, Arnold said.

The properties were rezoned from agricultural, light manufacturing and heavy manufacturing and planned development districts to regional office district.

The rezoning does not mean the businesses have to relocate, Arnold said, but they cannot grow at the current location. If the businesses want to grow, they would have to relocate, she said.

Resident Kevin Lumbersome spoke at the meeting in favor for the rezoning request. Lumbersome lives in nearby neighborhood McKinney Greens and also serves as the community’s homeowners association president.

“It can improve the quality of life for the future of the east side of McKinney,” he said. “… The smallest citizens among us can have a chance at a normal childhood. I am personally aware of children that live adjacent to the property that have been restricted by their parents to play and run outside. I think we can all agree that that should not happen in our city.”

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  1. Glad to see this progress, but McKinney must have thousands of laws that are either selectively or never enforced. Every residence is technically in a quiet zone, but loud and speeding vehicles have been a frequent nuisance during our 15 years in McKinney. I appreciate Mayor Fuller’s commitment to improve enforcement.

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Cassidy Ritter
Cassidy graduated from the University of Kansas in 2016 with a degree in Journalism and a double minor in business and global studies. She has worked as a reporter and editor for publications in Kansas, Colorado and Australia. She was hired as senior reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's Plano edition in August 2016. Less than a year later, she took the role of editor for the McKinney edition.
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