P&Z approves recycling center conditional use permit

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Despite the objections of a Bosque Farms couple who object to a recycling center being built next to their property, the village's Planning and Zoning Commission approved a conditional use permit for Wise Recycling.

The company plans to build the recycling center on the 1200 block of Bosque Farms Boulevard, which is in a Commercial-1 zoned area.

The couple, Charles and Nancy Fegan, who have lived adjacent to the location for more than 20 years, are planning to appeal the commission's decision hoping the Bosque Farms Village Council will overturn the ruling.

As of Friday morning, an appeal had not been filed with the village.

The commission's Monday night decision came after two hours of questions and answers from Wise Recycling's attorney Matt Myers. He told the commission he is representing the owner of the property, Bosque Farms Equities and Wise Recycling.

Myers said the company has other locations in Belen, Albuquerque and Roswell, and will be purchasing and storing metal at the Bosque Farms location. The center will store most of its recyclables in roll offs located in back of the yet-to-be-built building on the east side of the property.

He also told the commission aluminum cans would be stored in boxes and crushed inside the building.

"Once the roll offs are full, they will be taken away," Myers said. He said there wouldn't be any impact to neighboring properties.

He also said there will be no bulk storage of hazardous material on the property, and all material will be collected and placed onto a concrete pad so that no metal will ever actually be on the ground.

"We've been careful to minimize the effect on neighboring properties," Myers told the commission. "There will be no organic materials … and the recycling center will be open from 9 to 5, six days a week. It's basically a temporary stop. They buy, hold and then haul it off."

When asked by Commissioner Sharon Eastman to address the concern of potential criminal activity pertaining to the increase of copper wire thefts, Myers said Wise Recycling will adhere to state law and recently passed legislation that requires center employees to make a copy of the seller's driver's license and obtain the seller's vehicle information, such as a license plate number.

"This isn't some back door business," he said.

"I'm a victim just like every body else," said Bill Carr, the area business manager of Wise Recycling. "But the percentage of people (customers) with bad intentions is very small."

Carr told the commission that there will be two loading docks with at least one semi trailer there at all times for the aluminum cans. He also said he plans on installing a security system at the property to include cameras.

Eastman also asked Myers and Carr about what type of fence they are planning to erect at the property. Myers said they are planning on placing slats in the existing chain link fence.

"I don't think the ordinance allows for that," Eastman said. "It has to be a six to eight-feet solid fence."

Calling themselves a "reverse retail" operation, Myers did say that the village would not benefit from gross receipts taxes, but would benefit from new jobs.

When asked why they tore down the Fegan's fence without telling them before hand, Myers said after a survey was conducted of the property, it was determined that the fence was actually on the company's property.

"If it turns out that it was actually on their property, we would make it right," the attorney said.

The Fegan's attorney, Jeff Albright, asked the commission Monday to defer their decision while his clients had an opportunity to review the property plans. He said because the center is in close proximity to the Fegan's property, it could have an adverse economic impact on his client.

"We haven't seen a final plat of the site, and my clients needs to review it," Albright said. "My clients haven't been able to weigh in on this since tonight."

"I just found out that I'm going to own a large piece of property next to a hazardous dump site," Charlie Fegan told the commission. "It's going to look more like the South Broadway area …"

At that point, village attorney David Chavez stepped in and cautioned Fegan not to make any disparaging remarks about any particular area.

"From this point forward, my statements are mine," he said, adding he didn't appreciate being "lawyered" by Chavez.

"Some of their dumpsters are going to be right next to my front door," he said. "We're going to have a disposal site at our front door … You can understand why I'm upset."

Fegan said he believes the recycling center does not conform to the village's rural atmosphere.

Nancy Fegan said she's concerned about the value of their property once the recycling center is established.

"But more than that, I'm concerned about the community," she said. "I'm concerned about the direction of Bosque Farms."

After an hour-long closed executive session because both parties threatened litigation, according to Chavez, the commission returned and unanimously granted Wise Recycling the conditional use permit. Commissioner Karen Mcada recused herself from the proceedings saying her company does business with the architectural company who will be building the facility.

The commission found that the applicant has completed the ordinances requirements and that no credible evidence was presented of an adverse effect on adjoining properties and that there would be no harm to the general health and safety of the village.

Some of the conditions placed on the center include the company obtain a flood plain permit, two semi trailers on the property, three roll off bins at the east end of the property, build a solid fence and contact the Fegans about the fence issue and come to an understanding, install proper security, two driveways, the noise should be no louder than 88 decibels that would create a nuisance and that the company hook up the village's water and sewer system.

After the commission's vote, Albright said his clients would be filing an appeal to the governing body within 30 days, which, he said would stay all proceedings regarding the recycling center.


-- Email the author at cgarcia@news-bulletin.com.