Nucor Steel Longview/Komatsu Mining Corp

Nucor Steel is planning nearly $2 million in improvements to its mill on Southwest Loop 281.

Longview employer Nucor Steel plans nearly $2 million in improvements to its mill on Southwest Loop 281.

The mill, officially known as Nucor Steel Longview LLC, wants to build a new access drive into the plant from Loop 281, along with a guardhouse and temporary parking and a building for lockers and administrative offices.

Laney Newman, with Johnson and Pace engineering firm, submitted a site review application to the city’s Development Services division Tuesday. The company is seeking variances to city ordinances to begin the projects later this year.

The total estimated value of the project at 5400 W. Loop 281 is $1.9 million, according to the application.

Currently, Nucor employees park on property owned by neighboring manufacturer Komatsu Mining Corp., City Planner Angela Choy said.

Nucor’s proposal calls for a temporary parking area of 229 spaces and a locker room facility. A guard house and an access driveway also would be built.

Development Services Manager Vance Wyly said the company plans to use the temporary facilities for about two to three years. Future plans call for more than 1,000 parking spaces potentially to be added; the company owns 144.45 acres of land.

Newman will go before the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment on June 11 to seek multiple variances.

One variance is to a city requirement that off-street parking spaces are to be surfaced with concrete or asphalt paving. Nucor has proposed a gravel pavement because of the parking lot’s temporary use.

The company also wants a variance on the required number of parking spaces. With the temporary lot, Nucor would provide 231 parking spaces, but city ordinance would require at least 416 spaces because of the steel mill’s 415,179-square-foot size.

The city requires one space for every 1,000 square feet of building.

“Nucor Steel Longview currently has 160 employees,” according to the company’s variance application. “The steel mill operates three shifts with approximately 55 employees per shift. At max production levels, Nucor plans to employ a total of 200 employees over four shifts, approximately 50 per shift.”

A third variance application involves the city’s landscape ordinance, which requires that Nucor provide 8,432 square feet of landscaped area — 5 percent of its 3.88-acre proposed development.

The proposed improvements are in Nucor’s gravel laydown yard, where conditions aren’t conducive to vegetation, according to the company.

“They have the required tree count,” Choy said, “but they’re not meeting the required shrub count.”

Nucor intends to keep the existing wooded area along the frontage of Loop 281 for landscaping and screening, according to the company.

The ZBA meeting will begin at 11 a.m. June 11 inside Council Chambers at City Hall, at 300 W. Cotton St.

Jimmy Daniell Isaac covers the city of Longview and Gregg County. Follow him on Twitter: @jimmyisaaclives.