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Terra Products seeks special exception for a new business near Dogue

Terra Products LLC is seeking a special exception permit from King George to enable it to establish its concrete product business in a vacant building and invest $6 million to produce aggregate products with projected annual sales of $40 million.
The Planning Commission reviewed the request for a special exception permit and at last week’s meeting on April 9. Following a public hearing and discussion, it unanimously voted to forwarded a recommendation for to the Board of Supervisors.

Terra Products would purchase a 26-acre property zoned Industrial (I) and owned by Steve DeBernard which contains existing buildings totaling 100,000 square feet, formerly occupied by White Packing near Dogue.
The property is located at Cleve Drive (Route 692) and identified as Tax Map 37, Parcel 4. The site is served by a private waste water treatment facility that was constructed to serve White Packing and a private well.
The company would create 40-60 jobs with full benefits provided, with the lowest paying $18/hour and higher, along with some technical positions paying more. Terra Products would also have a staff of 12 sales people, with annual payroll projected at over $2,000,000.

The industrial property is adjacent to several hundred acres also zoned Industrial where sand and gravel mining and processing is taking place.

NO MINING, PROCESSING ONLY
Terra Products would not be conducting mining operations, but would instead purchase extracted materials from the adjacent mining operation.

The company plans to produce commercial and home improvement products by processing sand, gravel, and stone to create various bagged aggregates and to manufacture concrete products used as ‘pavers.’

The application indicates that the entire manufacturing process would be contained inside the buildings, with some outside storage.

PUBLIC COMMENT
Three members of the public commented during the public hearing.  Two represented Terra Products, including Claude Shaffer and Hamilton Palmer, along with county resident Andrew Ball.

Shaffer said they have been planning the operation for six years, have financing in place, and know everything about the business. The buildings have been vacant for over a decade, but were described by Shaffer as being ideally suited to their planned operation. Shaffer described the main building as being in excellent condition, saying it is a “very heavy-duty building, with thick walls.”

Shaffer said the building will require some modifications prior to startup, saying they were eager to get started. He added, “We’re ready to go. We want to be a part of the community and a good neighbor.”

Palmer said he agreed with Shaffer, adding that the property is currently zoned industrial and the company would make good use of an existing building.

Neighbor Andrew Ball said he was opposed to the request. He said the area south of Route 3 is intended by the county’s Comprehensive Plan to discourage high density residential and commercial development and approval would go against the guidance to maintain the rural character of the county.

STAFF RECOMMENDATION
The staff recommendation was for approval. It was based on the facts that storage, processing, and bagging aggregate would occur within an enclosed building with no exterior ambient dust or excessive noise.

Also, the property is recognized in the Comprehensive Plan as for industrial use.  The  recommendation is also based on the strength of the proffer statement and that the operation would have minimal traffic impacts compared to existing sand and gravel operation and any potential impact of future industrial development on the property. Another factor cited is the adjacent 700+ acres of existing Industrial Zoning.

Prior to commencement of activity, site plan approval is needed, along with all building permits and any other state, local, and or federal permits as required.

PLANNING COMMISSION ACTION
The Planning Commission reviewed the request at last week’s meeting on April 9 and forwarded a unanimous recommendation to the Board of Supervisors for approval.

Prior to any action by the Board of Supervisors, another public hearing will be advertised and held by the governing body at an upcoming regular meeting.

Phyllis Cook

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