Landfill request deferred to May, sign request withdrawn

The Planning Commission needs more information and time before considering a request from Shoosmith Bros. Inc., which has asked the county to lift three conditions placed on its landfill operations during its 1997 expansion.

At its March 16 meeting, the Planning Commission voted to defer Shoosmith’s request to its May 18 public hearing. Planning Director Kirk Turner said staff had recommended that the item be deferred for 60 days.

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.

The staff recommendation on the request said the deferral would give Shoosmith time to address staff concerns about the proposal’s impact on “items included in the capital improvements program.” In a March 18 interview, Turner said the CIP item in question was the improvement of Route 10 from Frith Lane to Greenyard Road.

At last week’s meeting, Brennan Keene, an attorney representing Shoosmith, said the company believed it could solve all of the “issues” in 30 days.

Commission Chairman William Brown said two of his colleagues said they preferred a 60-day deferral. Keene said the company was happy to answer any questions, and he had a feeling the questions dealt with landfill operations rather than the request at hand.

“Some of us feel this is a case of some magnitude,” Matoaca District Commissioner F. Wayne Bass said. “We’ve been receiving calls and e-mails from people in our districts and we have no information to give them because we haven’t been contacted by you, by Shoosmith.”

In 1997, Keene said, “this use was thoroughly vetted by the Planning Commission.” Bass said he was familiar with the earlier case, but knew little about the present request. He said his understanding was the applicant was asking to increase the tonnage accepted at the landfill, and Keene said there was no tonnage increase involved.

“See, I don’t know,” Bass said.

Commission Vice Chairman Sam Hassen said Keene was right, and part of the issue is the daily use of the landfill and the effect it’s having right now. Some of the issues involved in the request could be magnified, he said.

“I need to better understand how this dual work is performed in the quarry,” Hassen said.

Brown said he thinks “we have a better chance of getting a consensus among the commissioners if we take a little more time.”

Also at its March 16 meeting, the Planning Commission acknowledged the withdrawal of an application for a conditional-use permit for an electronic advertising sign at the Rx Compounding building on Iron Bridge Road near Chalkley Road. Holiday Signs made the request on behalf of Sonny Currin, who owns Rx Compounding.

According to a staff report on the request, the staff recommended denial because the proposed sign did not conform to the adopted Electronic Message Center Policy and the requested exceptions to the policy could set a precedent for similar requests.

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