Concrete crusher appeal in Detroit defeated Monday

The mayor opposed it. The zoning board denied its permit. But even after an appeal was scheduled for Monday, there was a still a chance that a new concrete crusher could move into Detroit.

However, with a unanimous decision Monday afternoon, efforts to develop the facility in a west side neighborhood officially ended. 

"The aye's have it," said a Detroit official during the hearing, with sounds of applause soon following.

While there was citywide opposition to the facility, the discontent over development of the concrete crusher officially started with the residents of Core City, a neighborhood inhabited by people disinterested in seeing the eyesore go up next to their homes.

"This is a new day for Detroit where we're saying no more environmental racism in our communities," said Vanessa Butterworth. "No more economic discrimination."

Butterworth lives in the Core City neighborhood. She said the victory means more than just another proposed facility being rejected by an unhappy populace.

"No more of this old Detroit mentality where wealthy suburban landowners can come in, who don't even live in Detroit, and can do whatever they want here, regardless of the impact on our neighborhoods," she said.

For Amy Eckert and her husband of Fisheye Farms, an urban farm in Detroit's Core City neighborhood, it also means a cleaner product to grow and cleaner air to breathe.

"What do we do for the air quality? All of that particulate can end up on our vegetables making it unsafe to eat," Eckert said. "We have a one-and-a-half-year-old daughter and I don't want her breathing in that air."

It was on the other side of their business where the proposed concrete crusher would have been built - near I-96 and Warren.

But opposition from the local public soon turned into a larger effort by the city as a whole.

MORE: Concrete crusher proposal rejected after Detroit denies permit request

After its permit request was denied, Developer Murray Wikol and Can-Am International Trade Crossing Company appealed the decision. However, when the meeting was scheduled for Monday, neither party showed up.

While the decision could still end up in court, Wikol's company has been ticketed more than 60 times by the city for dumping and storing waste without a permit. That mess still hasn't been cleaned up.

That mess is next to the incoming Pope Francis Center, which is expected to care for homeless people. The sentiment behind the blight is the same as it was for the crusher.

"Just clean up your mess and leave our neighborhood alone," said Eckert.