A Prince William County planning body unanimously rejected Wednesday a proposal from a rural-area business to expand its mulching operation, which had drawn neighborhood opposition and environmental scrutiny.
The bid by JK Enterprise Landscape Supply to expand its mulching operation off Farmview Road in Nokesville doesn’t seem to be controversial on its face. The company’s Madera Farm site houses a mulching and landscaping operation and its owner, Jake Klitenic, had asked for special permission from the county to buy new machines and expand the operation.
The Planning Commission, an advisory panel to the Board of County Supervisors, rejected the proposal on a number of grounds, siding with worried neighbors. Commissioner Ronald Burgess (Brentsville) said that “the clock has run out” on the proposal in denying an extension as well as rejecting the project.
“You can put all the makeup you want on this … it remains an industrial operation” in a rural area, Burgess said. Industrial trucks and machines just off congested Route 28 is a bad idea, he and others said.
Commissioner Kim Hosen (Occoquan) said Klitenic had yet to address potential wetlands discovered on the site — which would run afoul of county and state law — in the farm’s application. Klitenic has disputed that wetlands exist on the property, and has said that if wetlands are found, he would address the issue.
Reached by phone Friday, Klitenic declined to comment. Prince William supervisors will have the final say on the project.
Nearby residents who attended the meeting were relieved. “This is a partial win because we still need to go to the Board of [County] Supervisors” which makes the final decision, said Melinda Masters, 44, who lives nearby.
Residents were concerned about increased truck traffic on Route 28, an already-congested road where many teenagers and buses travel to area schools. “[Commissioners] saw the writing on the wall of how dangerous this is,” said Conrad Holtslag, who also lives nearby.
The commission had already twice delayed the application, seeking to understand what they have deemed as incomplete information about the property’s wetlands and to address residents’ concerns.
Klitenic has said he has not disturbed any wetlands, but has agreed to go the extra step to hire an outside consultant to “to triple make sure.”
Klitenic declined to say whether he would press forward with his application.
A vote before the Board of County Supervisors has not yet been scheduled.