Shoosmith request deferred to June 15

At the request of the applicant, the Planning Commission deferred a request last week from Shoosmith Bros. Inc., which has asked the county to lift three conditions placed on its operations during the landfill’s 1997 expansion.

The landfill, which is located just off Iron Bridge and Lewis Roads, was started in 1976 and permitted for 200 acres of the 600-acre site. In 1997, Shoosmith asked to add 200 acres to the landfill and made 24 proffers during that application and approval process.

The company is seeking changes to three of those proffers to allow: the acceptance of out-of-state trash in the new section of the landfill; landfill and quarrying operations in the quarry at the same time; and the addition of more waste to an area of the landfill that has been capped.

In March, the Planning Commission voted to defer Shoosmith’s request and a public hearing on the matter to its May 18 public hearing. At that time, Planning Director Kirk Turner said staff had recommended that the item be deferred for 60 days.

At last week’s meeting, Brennan Keene, an attorney representing Shoosmith, said, “We are resolving some final issues with the county administration with regard to this proposal.”

Clover Hill District Commissioner Russell J. Gulley said he wanted “a couple pieces of data” before the June meeting, including where in the country landfill operations are occurring within active quarries. He said he hasn’t seen data showing that the liner in the landfill area won’t be impacted by blasting in other areas of the quarry. The commission deferred the request to its June 15 meeting.

Also at last week’s meeting, the commission approved a request from J.H. Martin & Sons Contractors, Inc. that 51.7 acres be rezoned from agricultural and general industrial to general business zoning. The property is located on the east line of Interstate 95, about 3,200 feet south of the Ruffin Mill interchange, according to a staff report on the request.

Planning and Special Projects Manager Robert Clay said the planning staff recommended denial of the request because the proposed zoning and land use don’t conform to the Consolidated Eastern Area Plan and aren’t representative of and compatible with existing and anticipated area development.

Jim Theobald, speaking on behalf of the applicant, said the site in question is actually part of a larger piece of property, the rest of which is impacted by “environmental characteristics.” The property is “certainly in an area with a mix of commercial and industrial uses,” he said.

“This is an opportunity to get the best of both worlds,” he said. “If you can’t do commercial and industrial development here, I’m not sure where you can.”

Theobald said he thought the request was consistent with development in that area. The proposed project will increase the county’s tax base, and the developer has received a letter from the county’s economic development department enthusiastically supporting the proposal, he said.

As one comes in via Ruffin Hill Road, Bermuda District Commissioner Sam Hassen said, there’s a gas station on the left and three car dealerships on the right. Given the existence of some environmentally sensitive areas, “I find the commercial use less obtrusive,” he said. He noted that the proposed zoning allowed for some industrial uses, too.


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