March 3, 2009


Terra Concepts PC c/o Steve Edwards

224 Court Square

Charlottesville, VA 22902


RE:       SP2008-00032 Central Virginia Recycling

            TMP 94-21N and TMP 94-21N1



Dear Mr. Edwards:


By a vote of 6:0, the Planning Commission recommended denial of SP-2008-00032 Central Virginia Recycling Center based on the findings stated in the staff report.  These include factors listed as unfavorable, as follows:


1.       The operation would cause noise and traffic that is uncharacteristic to this Rural Area.

2.       The operation could exceed the maximum allowed noise standards in the Zoning Ordinance.

3.       The noise, both volume and duration, could disturb the neighbors.

4.       The mulching operation would be of greater benefit to development occurring in both Albemarle’s Development Areas and in Fluvanna County.

5.       The information requested by staff pertaining to groundwater, parking and traffic generated from this operation has not been fully provided; therefore, the review is incomplete.


And the following findings stated in the staff report:


·         Use will be of substantial detriment to adjacent property.

o        Potential impacts of the volume and length of time of noise from the operation. 

o        Potential impacts of dust and odor based on similar mulching operations.

o        Potential for mulch piles catching on fire.

·         Changes to the character of the district.

o        Visibility of operation from neighboring properties.

o        Impact of operation including traffic from heavy trucks and customer vehicles, and the equipment running the wood mulching operation.

·         Not in harmony with the purpose and intent of the ordinance and uses permitted by right in the district.

o        Use is of an industrial nature otherwise only permitted by right in the Heavy Industrial District and is not consistent with the intent of the Rural Areas District and uses permitted by-right there-in.

·         Not in harmony with the public health, safety and welfare.

o        Although intersection and entrance improvements to meet VDOT standards are proposed, the truck traffic accessing the site is not customary for this area and safety is a concern for trucks using Route 794.

o        Potential for mulch-pile fires.


Commissioners also noted the following additional concerns in making their recommendation for denial:


·         The proposed operation has grown and become incredibly intense.  It is not just the tub grinding of material being brought in and wholesaling it.  This would be a retail enterprise along with the repairing of trucks and a manufacturing process with the coloration.  This is not the intent of the Rural Areas and the Rural Areas needs to be protected.

·         The potential groundwater contamination from the colorants needs to be addressed.  DEQ has not commented on this contamination issue. 

·         The traffic is understated.  The Commission does not have a full handle on the traffic impacts. 

·         This proposal is a great idea, but in the wrong location.  The existing surrounding rural residential area was here first and must be taken into account.  (Staff and/or a Planning Commissioner made three trips to similar operations in VA.  The land used for the operation in each case had been zoned a minimum of light industrial prior to the decision to operate a mulching facility.)

·         This should not be viewed as a saw-mill or wood yard because of the treatment going on. There is a risk of contaminating the ground water in a sensitive area.

·         Potential for injury as grinder might “throw” large pieces of wood hundreds of feet.

·         Potential for contaminated material to be brought on site.

·         Noise tests were conducted in the summer when trees were leafed out.

·         Question of whether the amount of water needed for this use will deplete the wells of surrounding property owners and other owners as far away as Running Deer Drive, where property owners have long reported well issues.



Please be advised that the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors will review this petition and receive public comment at their meeting on March 11, 2009.


View staff report and attachments

View PC minutes

Return to regular agenda


If you should have any questions or comments regarding the above noted action, please do not hesitate to contact me at (434) 296-5832.






Joan McDowell

Principal Planner

Planning Division