Owners of a Dumfries landfill have agreed to pave the road leading to it, in response to residents' complaints that a steady parade of dump trucks has been raising excessive dust since last spring.
The town tried to stop the landfill operation in court, declaring that the permit had been issued illegally by a former town official last year.
Both the Prince William Circuit Court and a state court decided that J. V. Elrod and Robert Davis, owners of the 83-acre site, on Battery Hill overlooking the town, were operating legally.
Trucks carrying landfill debris such as dirt, tree stumps and concrete have been traveling the two-tenths of a mile on Green Tree Lane since last spring. In response to complaints of excessive dust by the residents of a 300-unit mobile home park, Elrod and Davis hired a water truck to sprinkle the gravel road several times a day. They decided to pave the road at a cost of $30,000 as soon as the issue was decided in court, Davis said.
Davis, a Woodbridge developer, said his partner is worth $90 million and "would have spent $80 million to prove he was right." Elrod, an Arlington developer who is currently wintering in Sarasota, Fla., wanted to pave the road to "show the community that we're operating in good faith," Davis said.
Although the land is currently zoned as residential, Davis and his partner envision an industrial park and shopping center with a leisure park to contain jogging trails and tennis courts as soon as the many deep gullies on the property are filled in with the debris from construction on nearby I-95. They will turn the park over to the town of Dumfries, he said.
Some town officials have indicated they will support the developers' request for rezoning. According to town zoning engineer Lee Lansing, no plans have been presented to the town council but "there is a chance" that Elrod and Davis could get support for a rezoning if "they can solve the problem of access" to the property.
"Right now, the only access roads in that area are two-lane, and only one of them is paved," Lansing said. "I hope they come in with preliminary plans soon."