Growing up in East Aldine, Shirley Ronquillo fondly remembers visits to James Driver Park.
“This is where our families would come and have picnics and birthday parties,” she said. “I grew up here.”
Back then, she said it was simple: a big green space with a walking area. So Ronquillo was thrilled when the county announced a $7 million investment to transform it into an all-inclusive park designed for kids and adults of all abilities.
But a few months after the new park opened at the end of 2021, residents and local officials learned a company wanted to build a concrete batch plant next door. They would share a bright orange fenceline.
“Can you imagine what that’s gonna be like when you have this cement batch plant next door?” Ronquillo said. “Big trucks coming in and out obstructing traffic, obstructing access, dirt everywhere, dust everywhere. That’s not going to be enjoyable to anyone.”