Central Virginia Recyling Center

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The Central Virginia Recycling Center was a proposed wood recycling facility near Keswick in eastern Albemarle County that was intended as a place for wood products to be sent to be turned into mulch. As many as 50 trucks a day would deliver stumps, lumber and other unwanted wood. The end product would be mulch. However, the project

Project history

The application was filed on June 16, 2008 and was assigned the number ZMA200800032[1].

The land is located off of Route 250 near its intersection with Black Cat Road, and the special use permit was required to allow industrial operations on land where agricultural and forestry uses are allowed by-right. The property is just over 100 acres, and the center would be constructed on only 25 acres.

The County has never approved an SUP for this purpose, and so County staff collected information about how wood recycling facilities impact the land. Commissioner Linda Porterfield visited one facility in Williamsburg as part of her research. The application for the SUP did not receive a full review from staff as the applicant sought to go directly to the public hearing.

Planning Commission Recommends Denial

Mark Keller with Terra Concepts PC represented Central Virginia Recycling before the Commission. He said that the wood products that would be mulched would otherwise go into the landfill or be burned. Keller said that the site’s location was ideal for a recycling facility because of its proximity to I-64 and Route 250. Water would be used to reduce the amount of dust and to properly age the mulch. He said that the applicant was willing to work under any conditions imposed by the County, and offered to limit grinding operations to weekdays. Keller said this was the type of operation the County should be promoting.

"Rural areas are the most appropriate location for a business of this nature," Keller said. "We feel we have a good application in the right location."

However, the application was not met with appreciation from the community. Over two dozen residents spoke out against the facility during the public hearing. Dr. Cole Peyton of the Keswick Farms neighborhood said the center would be more appropriate in Zion’s Crossroads in Fluvanna County given where land is available for industrial uses. Julie Minetos owns adjacent property and said she was concerned the center would impact the availability of groundwater for her home. Donna Knoll lives on Three Chop't Road and she said she was concerned that if the SUP were granted, the recycling center would be the first domino in the industrializing Keswick. Carlton Brooks lives 400 feet from the proposed center and said he suspected the applicant simply wanted to purchase rural land at a cheaper price than land zoned for industrial uses.

None of the Commissioners said they could support the special use permit. Commissioner Porterfield, who usually is in favor of projects that would boost economic development in the County, said that the residential neighborhoods came first and should be protected from industrialization. She made a motion to recommend denial of the SUP, which was approved 6-0 by the Commission[2].

Board Hearing

Supervisors took up the matter on March 11, 2009. The board voted unanimously to deny the application. [3]


  1. Countyview website. Retreived on 3 March 2009. Countyview website
  2. 'Wood recycling center near Keswick gets thumbs-down from County planning commission', Charlottesville Tomorrow. 25 Feb. 2009. Charlottesville Tomorrow. 2 Mar. 2009.
  3. Web. Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Minutes for March 11, 2009, Meeting Minutes, Albemarle County, retrieved November 13, 2017.

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