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The State of NoVa
Posted at 02:09 PM ET, 04/09/2013

Madera Farm project gets final shot at mulching operation; one official says project should be killed


County officials believe they found the evidence of wetlands on a property where an expanded mulching operation is planned. Photo courtesy of Planning Commissioner Kim Hosen. (Kim Hosen/PWC)
A landscape company owner’s bid to expand its mulching operation in western Prince William County has been given another chance to present a case for the project, but one county adviser says it should be killed altogether.

JK Enterprise Landscape Supply is asking for a Special Use Permit for the right to expand a mulching operation off Farmview Road in Nokesville on its Madera Farm property. Amidst concern from area residents about its potential smell and noise, county officials have also asked the Department of Environmental Quality to assess whether wetlands on the property, protected by state and federal laws, were improperly disturbed.

Last week, the county Planning Commission, an advisory panel to the Board of County Supervisors, delayed a vote on the issue for the third time, 4-1. Three commissioners were absent. Commissioners Austin Haynes (At Large), Edgar Bruce Holley (Neabsco), Kim Hosen (Occoquan) and Russell E. Bryant Jr. (Woodbridge) voted to defer a final recommendation on the project, according to an audio recording of the vote and Hosen.

Area Commissioner Ronald K. Burgess (Brentsville) voted against that move, saying that even if the applicant delivered the information commissioners have sought regarding the wetlands, the project still won’t be appealing because of the dump trucks it would put on area roads.

Jake Klitenic, owner of JK Enterprises, has made concessions limiting the number of dump trucks that travel area roads, which will number about 40 a day. But Burgess said that any sizeable increase in truck traffic would prove perilous, particularly on nearby Route 28.

“No one on this commission has traveled these roads as long as I have,” said Burgess, who said he has lost friends due to accidents in the area. A vote for increased traffic would be “totally unacceptable and unsafe,” he added.

Other commissioners said that JK Enterprises deserved another shot to deliver more complete information to the commission before they make a final decision.

Hosen has said that the wetlands assessment for the property has been incomplete. “I hope we get the correct information,” she said in an interview.

Klitenic has retained a consultant to study the wetlands issue, although he said that the mulching operation “won’t be near” protected areas. He also said that he disagrees with Burgess’s assessment of the traffic situation because Route 28 and Route 234, where the trucks will travel, are approved state truck routes.

“They can certainly handle the trucks,” he said of those roadways.

Klitenic said that he expects a wholly different reaction to his project from supervisors, who are not obligated to heed the Planning Commission;s recommendation. “I would hope they’re a little more rational than the Planning Commission,” he said.

The project is exactly what the county has envisioned for its rural area, known as the Rural Crescent, he said, because he has planned a farm and nursery. The mulching operation is only one piece of the operation, he said.

By  |  02:09 PM ET, 04/09/2013

 
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