Industrial companies cementing wrong legacy in Fifth Ward

- Their neighborhood may be aging in the Fifth Ward, but their will to fight has been reinvigorated by those they say are encroaching on their lifestyle.

"We're people too and we pay taxes over here also and we would like some consideration for this area right here." says resident John Lewis. 

What's happening in that residential area off of Jensen Drive near U.S. Highway 59 is an influx of industrial companies over the last 20 years from metal recycling facilities to manufacturing shops.

John and Cecil Lewis have lived in the Fifth Ward for 48 years and the couple is among the residents who want to put a stop to the latest company to apply for a permit to operate in their historic district. It's a concrete batch plant. It would be one of three in a small area and close to the Lewis' home.

There are also schools and even a preschool within throwing distance of the newly-planned facility. The residents say they know why their community has been targeted.

"The property is relatively reasonable here, especially a company they can come in and buy and the tax base is low too," says Cecil.

Houston City Council member Jerry Davis says this is an issue his office has been researching since October.

"You have to go out there and complain and complain and it's up to TCEQ if the batch is going to be approved or not," adds Davis.

Davis also says because there is no zoning in Houston, concrete batch plants can set up shop anywhere. He says the only option for the people is letting the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality know that they don't want it. But Davis says that's a long shot, even though the company, according to a TCEQ notice, hasn't been fully approved. FOX 26 News contacted Cemtech Concrete for a comment but the company has yet to respond.

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