The Morrisville Town Council is considering allowing 10 acres at the end of International Drive to be developed as a waste transfer station.
The proposed facility hasn’t generated public concerns. But at a quasi-judicial hearing Oct. 11, council members asked those testifying on behalf of Morrisville Transfer LLC, the prospective developers, about problems that could arise related to odors, heavy truck traffic and garbage fires.
The construction of waste facilities requires a special use permit, which is awarded or denied through the application of judicial zoning standards by the town council. The property abuts vacant wooded land between Airport Boulevard and Aviation Parkway and two industrial facilities – a concrete plant and a John Deere training center. Town staff said Oct. 11 that they’re satisfied with the case the applicant had made for the facility.
Waste transfer sites, unlike landfills, generally do not store waste for longer than a day. They are used as part of a waste-disposal model that attempts to reduce the number of trips made to landfills by consolidating and sorting waste collected in private Dumpsters and by traditional garbage trucks into larger tractor-trailers, which can deliver about five garbage trucks-worth of refuse in a single trip to a landfill. As such, lawyer Chad Essick said odor is unlikely to be an issue, especially since waste will either be in trailers or sorted on a partially enclosed sorting floor. Hazardous waste will not be permitted at the site.
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“This is a wheel-and-spoke system,” said Andy Archer, a traffic engineer with Randy Kemp & Associates retained by the developers. “You have smaller trucks coming to this site and the larger truck moving that to areas farther away.”
Essick said much of the center’s demand would mostly come from industrial waste producers who dispose of waste by the ton, such as construction companies.
Council members expressed some concern about increasing truck traffic along Aviation Parkway, but were assured by Essick that the facility’s proposed hours of operation, between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., would not coincide with Morrisville’s afternoon traffic peak.
The council will vote at its Oct. 25 meeting whether to approve the permit on the basis of Oct. 11’s testimony.
Key land buys
Town staff reported Oct. 11 that they are in the process of finalizing agreements to purchase land critical to two major town projects.
Pending the approval of contracts by both parties, Morrisville will purchase what’s known as the GoTriangle property across from Town Hall for $600,000. Ownership of those 10 acres will provide the town with necessary right-of-way to widen Morrisville Carpenter Road and complete a leg of its greenway system. Morrisville is also considering connecting Franklin Upchurch Sr. Street to Morrisville Carpenter Road through the property.
The town is also preparing to purchase three properties along Carolina Street as part of preliminary efforts to acquire land needed for its proposed Town Center project. The properties will likely be purchased at a negotiated price of $400,000, providing the town with right-of-way to connect Carolina Street to Town Hall Drive. Mayor Mark Stohlman said connecting roadways in that area of town is part of plans to create a walkable, grid-like downtown district.
Morrisville appropriated money for the GoTriangle purchase in its 2016-17 budget, while payment for the Carolina Street properties will likely come out of the town’s general fund balance.
Gargan: 919-460-2604; @hgargan