New Kent + Charles City Chronicle | Robb Johnson | January 26, 2022 (Full Article)
A proposal to bring a mining operation near the intersection of John Tyler Memorial Highway (Route 5) and Roxbury Road (Route 106) in Charles City was denied Tuesday night.
Charles City County supervisors voted unanimously to deny a special use permit (SUP) to Bardon Inc. Aggregate Industries after a public hearing was held.
In December 2021 at the Charles City Planning Commission meeting, company spokesman Robert Benaicha said the goal was for Bardon Inc. was to develop a sand and gravel mine pit at the aforementioned site. The company, who has been in Charles City for 20 years, commented that the location is currently zoned by Gillman and Timber LLC whose permit only allows for extraction for the property and not process. More conditions include buffers at least 200 feet from Route 5 and 100 feet from Old Ferry Road, as well as a 500-foot buffer from every homeowner. The 26 acres on the southside of the property would go untouched.
Residents were vocal at that meeting, but commissioners voted to forward Bardon Inc.’s proposal with a favorable recommendation 4-3 to county leaders.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, Benaicha said that the only changes that would take place is that operating hours would be form 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday to Friday, and that trips would be limited to 150 trips per day.
But even the amended proposals didn’t satisfy residents of the neighborhood as they came out in full force to argue how the operation will personally affect their neighborhood.
“My neighbors and I are concerned about the noise, dust, water quality, and wildlife,” said Jenny Green. “I have lived here in this neighborhood, a neighborhood that has grown from a farm and five cottages to a vibrant, desirable waterfront community.
“People have moved here over the years to be near the river and enjoy the peace and serenity of the county,” she continued. “If mining is permitted, many of my neighbors will sell their property. If they don’t sell before the mining starts, it will be difficult for them to get the current value of the property.”
District 2 representative Bill Coada spoke via phone about the complaints he has been receiving from Aggregate Industries mining operations on Barnetts Road, which falls in his district. Coada said he was not impressed and commented that Route 5 in Charles City was a scenic route. He concluded by saying that the land should be preserved as long as possible and that he also had concerns about the traffic.
Gilbert Smith, the District 1 representative where the proposed mining operation would have been, motioned for the application to be denied. The vote passed 3-0.