York Supes OK Wood Recycling Plant

WYDaily.com is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.

York Hall
York Hall

The York County Board of Supervisors has given its blessing to a recycling plant that will grind wood into mulch in an industrial part of the county.

The recycling plant, owned by the Digges Company, will be located near the future Whittaker’s Mill neighborhood on Penniman Road. It will be used intermittently to recycle wood from commercial land clearing operations.

It will also be placed near the Digges Company’s other recently-approved venture, an indoor shooting range with 15 rifle-range and 15 pistol-range lanes.

Both projects needed the board’s approval due to the zoning ordinance, which calls for businesses such as a firing range and a recycling plant to obtain a special-use permit. The board voted 4-0 Tuesday to approve the permit. Supervisor Don Wiggins was absent.

The board heard from two people who opposed the project: homeowner Barbara Washington who lives nearby, and Lamont Myers, a Mid-Atlantic Communities LLC representative for Whittaker’s Mill, a 222-home development planned for the area around Winchester and Penniman roads.

Myers argued when the supervisors approved the $70 million Whittaker’s Mill and the nearby 650 residential units of the Marquis at Williamsburg last year, it was with the intention of taking the community in a more progressive route away from industrial uses.

“Six months ago, you, the board, made a very deliberate, proactive decision to take this community, this area, in a more positive, upscale direction,” Myers said. “There’s a reason why this type of use needs a use permit. It is an obnoxious use.”

Mark Rinaldi, who represents the Digges Company in its Penniman Road endeavors, spoke against Whittaker’s Mill during the public hearing in November when the application went before the Board of Supervisors.

He told supervisors he was concerned the Digges Company’s “investments would be jeopardized” and putting a residential neighborhood so close to an industrial zone would discourage future businesses from coming to that area.

A stretch of land used for commercial and light industrial development sits between the industrial area where the recycling plant and firing range will be and the now-residential section of land used for Whittaker’s Mill. The land splitting the industrial and residential areas was designated to provide a buffer, according to York County Principal Planner Tim Cross.

Washington, who lives in a single-story home close to the site of the recycling plant and the indoor firing range, also opposed the application.

“That grinder is going to be going all day long,” she said.

Concerns about the noise coming from the grinder were quelled by Rinaldi, who said the Digges Company owns a similar operation in Charles City County that emits no noise when one is standing about 800 feet away from the site.

Chairman Tom Shepperd backed Rinaldi by mentioning the grinder located on Goodwin Neck Road, which he said emitted no noticeable noise.

Related Coverage: