UPDATED: Public Works reviews landfill hearing; Council members appeal to waste board

Friday, June 22, 2012 at 4:05pm

Metro Public Works is reviewing Thursday’s Board of Zoning Appeals hearing on a proposed controversial landfill in Bellevue after the BZA deferred a decision, awaiting further Public Works’ input.

The issue at hand for Public Works revolves around a 3-acre recycling facility the landfill developers agreed to donate to the city. Attorney Jamie Hollin, who is representing neighbors opposing the landfill, argued at the hearing that Public Works previously signed off on the project with misinformation about the recycling center.

Veronica Frazier, executive director of Public Works’ beautification and environment commission, said Public Works would review the landfill proposal and make an announcement on Monday.

“We’re going to watch the BZA hearing and get as much information about what all has occurred,” Frazier said. “We’re going to review that and hopefully on Monday we are going to decide accordingly.”

When asked to confirm or deny that Public Works would pull support, Frazier reinforced that the department will keep the public’s interest in mind.

“From the very beginning, the citizen input was the most important thing to our department,” Frazier said. “We are there to serve the citizens. That was always the primary focus.”

More than 150 people attended the hearing on Thursday, most of them sporting green shirts in opposition to the landfill. BZA chairman Chris Whitson said he received 140 letters opposing the landfill, and only one letter in support.

On Saturday, Councilwoman Sheri Weiner, whose district includes the property in question, sent a letter to Metro’s Solid Waste Region Board, asking them to rescind their approval of the project as well. Weiner retracted her support of the project after citizens started to complain about the project at the end of May.

“I’m pretty unhappy about the way this has gone down,” Weiner told The City Paper.

In the letter from Weiner, Councilman Bo Mitchell and Councilman Charlie Tygard, asked the waste board to meet before the BZA meets again.

"Given that we feel misled, we respectfully urge you to reconsider and reverse your prior decision of March 29 to amend the Solid Waste 10 Year Plan to include another C & D facility," the letter said. 

Charlie Mitchell and his attorney, Tom White, continually mentioned Public Works approval in their argument for rezoning 81 acres of Mitchell’s land for a “construction and demolition” landfill.

But Hollin claims the developers over-represented their intentions for the donated recycling facility. Instead of a recycling convenience center, which southwest Davidson County could use, the proposed zoning only intends to allow a “drop-off” facility, according to Hollin.

Hollin further claims that Public Works Director Billy Lynch amended a 10-year plan that didn’t call for a new construction and demolition landfill, in order to get the promised convenience center.

Lynch was out of town on Friday and didn’t return a phone call as of Friday afternoon.

The BZA will meet on July 19 at 1 p.m. to vote on the landfill.

SolidWasteLetter.pdf101.33 KB