August 13, 2008
Council Decides Not to Vote Until It Sets Future of Mount Trashmore II
By DEIRDRE FERNANDES
By Deirdre Fernandes
The City Council decided Tuesday night that it must determine the future of its Mount Trashmore II landfill before voting on any proposed housing developments nearby.
The council voted unanimously to wait six months to vote on a 150- home subdivision proposed by Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network. Councilman Bob Dyer abstained because he works at CBN- operated Regent University.
CBN's proposed development, off Centerville Turnpike, sits about 900 feet from the landfill site. CBN also owns some 500 acres to the north and west of the landfill that it wants to develop into shops, homes and offices.
Mount Trashmore II has some limited uses now, but officials are discussing turning it into the Beach's primary waste disposal site after 2018. That's when the Southeastern Public Service Authority, which handles the region's waste, is scheduled to be dissolved.
Some council members worried that approving CBN's project would hinder the potential to expand the use of the landfill.
"There's a lot yet to be decided," said Councilwoman Barbara Henley.
A recent city-commissioned study found that Mount Trashmore II could be used as an urban landfill without posing significant health or environmental risks.
But it could be a nuisance to neighbors, and the city would need to spend between $37 million to $61 million buying property for a buffer, the study said.
The city has already had issues with neighbors at the landfill.
Last year, a SPSA-run composting operation at the landfill site closed because of complaints from neighbors about odors and the potential health risk.
To avoid similar problems, the city shouldn't approve homes too close to the landfill, City Councilman Bill DeSteph said.
"If we do this, we have to do this with the understanding that we're going to move the landfill in 2018," he warned.
Some council members said they would be more comfortable with CBN's proposal if initial and all subsequent home buyers signed a disclosure form acknowledging the nearby landfill and its potential nuisances. Home buyers around Oceana Naval Air Station must sign similar disclosures about noise.
Councilman Louis Jones asked CBN to consider eliminating plans to have condominiums right next to the pond at the landfill site.
But Councilman Ron Villanueva said the city's long-term plan for Mount Trashmore II is a neighborhood park, and not a landfill.
Eddie Bourdon, CBN's attorney for the project, said it doesn't make sense for Virginia Beach to target Centerville as a growth area in some plans and yet expand the landfill.
Deirdre Fernandes, (757) 222-5121, [email protected]
Some Virginia Beach council members worried that approving Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network's proposed development would hinder the potential to expand the use of the Mount Trashmore II landfill.
Originally published by BY DEIRDRE FERNANDES.
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