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York County planning commissioners considered the effects on current and future neighbors before recommending a wood recycling plant in the upper part of the county be approved.
The Planning Commission voted 5 to 2 — with Melissa Magowan and Richard Myer Jr. voting against approval — to recommend The Digges Company’s recycling plant operate in the proposed industrially zoned area located near a single-family home and the future Whittaker’s Mill neighborhood.
The county’s Board of Supervisors will have final say on whether the application passes.
Magowan and Myer raised concerns about the noise a wood grinder would generate, saying 865 feet — the distance to the nearest home — was not enough to prevent noise from disturbing the neighbor.
“Both of these are going to change her world,” Myer said, referring to the other special-use permit application submitted by the Digges Company for an indoor firing range to be built next to the recycling plant.
“I am concerned with the impression we would give that we would be pushing her out,” he said.
The site at which the recycling plant is projected to go is also in close proximity to Whittaker’s Mill, although several acres of park and woodland separate the plant from the first of the neighborhood’s homes.
Myer and Magowan argued it was not practical to have an industrial use such as a recycling plant going next to a residential development.
“I think this kind of pushed the limit of limited industrial,” Magowan said, referring to the zoning designation.
She said she would like to see a decibel measurement added to the application to ensure the noise levels do not affect citizens living around the plant.
“I think there needs to be some protection for the neighborhood,” she said.
Mark Rinaldi, who represented the Digges Company at Wednesday night’s meeting, said the grinder would be used intermittently to turn wood cleared from commercial sites into mulch, which would then be placed in large bins and sold to businesses on site.
The Digges Company owns a similar business in Charles City, and Renaldi said he tested the noise level personally by standing about 800 feet from the site on Route 5 with a sound meter, and found no noise from the grinder was detected.
The Board of Supervisors will now review the application and decide whether to approve it at its meeting at 6 p.m. June 16.
Correction 6/17: The story has been updated to correct the spelling of Mark Rinaldi’s last name. A previous version of this article mistakenly spelled it Renaldi.