In May 2013, Organic Soils, Inc., approached the Village of Carol Stream to discuss the possibility of placing a Landscape Waste Transfer Facility on a one-acre leased parcel within the Village’s Water Reclamation Center on Kuhn Road. There followed a process of review and evaluation, which culminated in the approval of the project by the Village on August 18, 2014. Many issues were examined during the course of considering the Organic Soils request. Following are a chronology of the project review history, and brief summaries of each issue that was considered.
- May 2013 – Organic Soils representatives make initial contact with the Village regarding their interest in operating a Landscape Waste Transfer Facility on a portion of the Village’s Water Reclamation Center property at 245 Kuhn Road. Village staff recommends that Organic Soils should present their concept plan for the Landscape Waste Transfer Facility at a future workshop meeting to introduce the idea to the community, Plan Commission and Village Board.
- July 1, 2013 – Organic Soils representatives present an initial concept plan regarding the Landscape Waste Transfer Facility at a combined Plan Commission and Village Board workshop meeting, open to the public, at Village Hall. The purpose of the workshop is to allow Organic Soils to introduce the project to the community and gauge the initial reaction to the concept. Notice of the workshop meeting was published in local newspapers, and a link to the presentation materials prepared by Organic Soils was placed on the Village’s website at this address:
- July 2013 through September 2013 – Organic Soils representatives prepare concept plans and information about the Landscape Waste Transfer Facility and submit to Village staff to receive technical/code-based feedback from Village staff.
- September 9, 2013 – Staff review letter on concept plan submittal sent to Organic Soils.
- October 2013 – Concurrent with staff review of the concept plan, staff begins negotiation of a lease agreement for the property Organic Soils proposes to lease from the Village for the Landscape Waste Transfer Facility.
- October 2013 through December 2013 – Organic Soils representatives prepare applications and plans for submittal to Village for formal zoning approvals.
- December 20, 2013 – Organic Soils submits an application for formal zoning approvals to the Community Development Department.
- January 17, 2014 – Village staff review letter on first formal submittal package sent to Organic Soils.
- January 2014 through April 2014 – Organic Soils representatives make revisions to the Landscape Waste Transfer Facility plans in response to comments in the Village staff review letter.
- April 10, 2014 – Organic Soils submits revised plans and information to the Community Development Department.
- May 23, 2014 – Village staff review letter on second formal submittal package sent to Organic Soils.
- June 10, 2014 – As was suggested in the Village staff concept plan review letter dated September 9, 2013, Organic Soils representatives make arrangements to host a public informational meeting, to be held at the Carol Stream Holiday Inn, on Wednesday June 18, 2014. On June 10, 2014, Organic Soils sends out letters inviting nearby property owners to attend the informational meeting. The mailing list for invitations was the same mailing list that the Village would use in mailing the public notices for the Plan Commission public hearing as required by State statutes. This informational meeting was optional and in addition to the public hearing required by State statutes and the Village Code for zoning applications.
- June 18, 2014 – Organic Soils hosts a public informational meeting at the Holiday Inn at 7:00 pm. Two Carol Stream residents attend the meeting. Organic Soils representatives provide information regarding the Landscape Waste Transfer Facility, discuss information displayed on presentation boards, and answer questions from attendees. At this meeting, the principal concerns expressed by those in attendance relate to noise and odor that may be generated by the Landscape Waste Transfer Facility.
- June 23, 2014 – Organic Soils submits a final set of revised plans in response to comments in the Village’s May 23, 2014, staff review letter and the comments received at the June 18, 2014, public informational meeting.
- June 25, 2014 – Notice of Public Hearing, at which the Plan Commission will consider the formal zoning approvals requested by Organic Soils, is published in The Examiner. This notice satisfies state statutes for the legal noticing of a local municipal Special Use zoning hearing.
- June 26, 2014 – Notice of Public Hearing is mailed to property owners within 250 feet of the Village’s Water Reclamation Center property, upon which the Landscape Waste Transfer Facility is proposed to be located. The mailing of this notice is beyond the requirements of state statutes, and is intended to encourage greater community knowledge and participation in the Public Hearing process.
- July 11, 2014– The Agenda packet for the July 14, 2014, Plan Commission meeting is posted on the Village’s website.
- July 14, 2014 – At its July 14, 2014, meeting, the Plan Commission hears the presentation regarding the Landscape Waste Transfer Facility from Organic Soils representatives, receives the staff report from Village staff, accepts testimony from the public during the Public Hearing, and asks questions of Organic Soils representatives and staff. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Plan Commission unanimously recommends approval of all of Organic Soils’ requests for zoning approvals.
- July 18, 2014 – The Agenda packet for the July 21, 2014, Village Board meeting is posted on the Village’s website. This agenda contains a staff memo to the Village Board recommending that the Village Board table action on the requested zoning approvals while the Village staff continues negotiation of the lease agreement for the proposed Landscape Waste Transfer Facility site with Organic Soils representatives.
- July 21, 2014 – Village Board tables Organic Soils’ requested zoning approvals at its July 21, 2014, meeting, to allow continued negotiation of the lease agreement with Organic Soils representatives.
- August 4, 2014 – Village Board tables Organic Soils’ requested zoning approvals at its August 4, 2014, meeting, to allow continued negotiation of the lease agreement with Organic Soils representatives.
- August 18, 2014 – Village Board unanimously approves all of Organic Soils’ requested zoning approvals and the lease agreement for use of the proposed Landscape Waste Transfer Facility site.
Needs and Benefits – It is a legal requirement in the State of Illinois that landscape waste must not be placed in a landfill. If landscape waste is collected, it must be composted in accordance with Illinois EPA regulations; otherwise, it must remain onsite. In addition, landscape waste must be collected separately from all other forms of waste, and must not be comingled. At present, landscape waste collected in Carol Stream and other nearby communities must be brought to a Landscape Waste Transfer Facility located outside of Carol Stream. With the Landscape Waste Transfer Facility to be located in Carol Stream by Organic Soils, landscape waste collectors will be able to unload the collected waste at a facility much nearer to the points of collection, and the waste will then be transferred to larger vehicles for transport to a composting facility Bristol, Illinois. This will benefit Carol Stream and other communities, as the landscape waste collection process will be made more efficient and economical. In addition, the improvement of the landscape waste collection process serves the goals of reducing impacts to the environment in an energy-efficient manner. We would note that in 2013, a total of 182 truckloads (513 tons) of landscape waste were collected from properties in Carol Stream.
Regulatory Requirements – Landscape Waste Transfer Facilities are permitted and regulated by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. It is important to realize that Landscape Waste Transfer Facilities only accept landscape waste, not any other form of waste, and the landscape waste materials must be removed from the site within 24 hours of receipt. Landscape Waste Transfer Facilities are not classified as Pollution Control Facilities, and therefore are not subject to the IEPAs more rigorous and lengthy Section 39.2 Local Siting Review process that would be required of a facility for transferring garbage. The Organic Soils Landscape Waste Transfer Facility will serve only as a collection point for landscape waste materials to be dropped off by landscape waste haulers and landscape contractors; the material will then be transferred to a larger trailer and driven to a composting facility in Bristol, Illinois. No composting of landscape waste will take place at the Carol Stream facility.
- Landscape Waste Transfer Facilities are only permitted in the B-3 Zoning District, and require approval of a Special Use Permit from the Village Board.
- The use cannot be located in conjunction with a greenhouse, landscape nursery, garden supply, landscape contractor or other such use on the same site.
- The site must be located not less than 500 feet from any existing residential property, as measured from lot line to lot line.
- The facility operator must obtain all required permits, licensing and certifications required by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
- The use may include accessory uses that are judged ancillary and customary to the operation of a Landscape Waste Transfer Facility, such as outdoor storage of supplies and equipment, onsite equipment maintenance and repair, and above-ground fuel storage.
Description of the Facility – The Organic Soils Landscape Waste Transfer Facility will consist of a 1.2-acre parcel located at the entrance to the Village’s Water Reclamation Center entrance off of Kuhn Road. The parcel will remain owned by the Village, and will be leased to Organic Soils. A new two-way asphalt access drive will be installed about 150 feet north of McNees Drive. A lockable steel tube gate will be installed across the access drive near Kuhn Road, to deter fly dumping. The site will also be under video surveillance. A second lockable gate will be provided in the seven-foot solid double-wall wooden fence that will enclose the site. The nearest residential properties to the east, on Arrowhead Trail, are over 1,300 feet away, and the Village’s Water Reclamation Center is located between the site and the homes on Arrowhead. The nearest residential properties to the north, on Thunderbird Trail, are approximately 1,300 feet away, and the Carol Stream Fire Protection District Headquarters and Station 28 is located between the site and the homes on Thunderbird. The nearest residential properties to the northwest, on Shelburne Drive, are over 750 feet away, and the vegetation on both sides of Klein Creek and Barbara O’Rahilly Park are located between the site and the homes on Shelburne. The nearest residential properties to the south are approximately 725 feet from the site, on the opposite side of North Avenue.
- The Landscape Waste Transfer Facility site will be operational from approximately March 15 through December 15 each year. The hours of operation will be from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday and 7:00 am to 12:00 pm on Saturday.
- Most of the landscape waste will be brought to the site in packer trucks containing only landscape waste from waste haulers which serve Carol Stream and other nearby communities. Landscape waste will also be brought to the facility by independent landscape contractors.
- Organic Soils has designed the site to be capable of processing up to nine inbound packer trucks per hour, and four loaded outbound transfer trailers per hour. The primary reason for this design capacity is to ensure that vehicles waiting in line to access the facility will not back up onto Kuhn Road even during peak periods. The facility operator will communicate regularly with the landscape waste hauler to manage on-site traffic. Vehicles are not permitted to back into the site from Kuhn Road. Organic Soils has estimated that average truck traffic will be on the order of 25 to 37 trucks per day, which works out to three or four trucks per hour. We note that the Village’s waste hauler (Flood Brothers) uses only one packer truck to collect landscape waste in the Village of Carol Stream, and over a nine-month period in 2013, Flood Brothers collected 182 truckloads of landscape waste from properties in Carol Stream.
- Landscape materials left at the site at the end of each day will be placed inside a transfer trailer and covered with a tarp. This practice is intended to control odors and limit the possibility that landscape materials could be blown from the Landscape Waste Transfer Facility site. Under no circumstances will landscape material remain onsite for greater than 24 hours, per Illinois EPA regulations.
- All transfer trailers leaving the site will be covered with a tarp in order to control windblown material.
Traffic – Landscape waste packer trucks already circulate throughout the Village on waste pickup days, but rather than having to drive out of town to deposit their landscape waste loads as they currently must do, they will instead be able to deposit their loads at the Kuhn Road facility. The Village’s landscape waste hauler, Flood Brothers, collected 182 truckloads of landscape waste from properties in Carol Stream during approximately nine months of 2013, for an average of 20 truckloads per month. The transfer trailers will come to and leave the site via North Avenue and Kuhn Road, and there are no developed properties on the 500 foot section of Kuhn Road north of North Avenue leading to the proposed Landscape Waste Transfer Facility site. Organics Soils has estimated that average truck traffic will be on the order of 25 to 37 trucks per day, which works out to three or four trucks per hour on average. However, Organic Soils has designed the site to be capable of processing up to nine inbound packer trucks per hour, and four loaded outbound transfer trailers per hour. The primary reason for this design capacity is to ensure that vehicles will not back up onto Kuhn Road while waiting in line to access the facility, even during peak periods. Based on the proximity of the Landscape Waste Transfer Facility to North Avenue, and the number of vehicles accessing the site, traffic impacts are expected to be minimal.
Noise – The noise standards which business operations must comply with are set forth in the Illinois EPA’s Noise Pollution Control Regulations. During the zoning approval phase of the proposed project, Organic Soils retained the services of a consulting engineer to prepare a Noise Impact Assessment Report for staff review, in order to evaluate the noise that will be generated by site operations. The consultant analyzed the noise levels that will be produced by the engines and backup alarms on the front end loader, transfer trailers and packer trucks maneuvering on-site. As a result of staff review of the consultant’s report, the height of the wood fence enclosing the operations area was increased to seven feet in order to reduce noise levels. The consultant found that the noise generated by the Landscape Waste Transfer Facility operations, under the approved site design and as measured at the nearest receiving residential property, will comply with Illinois EPA standards.
Odor – All landscape materials must be removed from the Landscape Waste Transfer Facility within 24 hours of arrival, and all remaining material will be placed in a transfer trailer at the end of each day. The partially-loaded trailer will remain onsite overnight, and will be covered with a tarp in order to reduce odors from the site. The distance of the facility from the nearest single family properties, at over 700 feet, will also mitigate odor issues. There will be no composting of landscape materials at the Landscape Waste Transfer Facility.
Aesthetics – With the exception of the entry drive and the front yard on Kuhn Road, the site will be entirely enclosed within a seven-foot solid wooden fence. A variety of trees and shrubs will be planted around the north, west and south perimeters of the fence and along the Kuhn Road frontage. In addition, there is a significant amount of existing trees and vegetation along Kuhn Road, and particularly on either side of Klein Creek to the north and west of the Landscape Waste Transfer Facility site. While operations will certainly not be completely invisible, the site will be well-screened from nearby residential properties and motorists on Kuhn Road by the seven-foot fence, the existing and proposed landscape materials, and the distance from the nearest residential properties.
Trash/Debris – The site will be fully surrounded by a seven-foot solid fence, and no loose landscape material will be left on the tipping floor at the end of each business day. Any remaining material will be placed within a transfer trailer covered with a tarp to prevent loose materials from being blown off-site. All transfer trailers leaving the site will be covered with a tarp in order to control windblown material. A gate will be installed near the Kuhn Road access drive to deter fly-dumping during times when the facility is closed.
Plan Commission Recommendation – At the conclusion of the public hearing for zoning approvals, the Plan Commission recommended approval of the Special Use Permit for a landscape waste transfer facility, based on the evaluation criteria set forth in the Zoning Code as found in §16-15-8(E) of the Zoning Code, with the following recommended conditions:
- That the site improvements, including but not limited to the office building, fencing, landscaping, parking lot lighting, and signage, must comply with the attached plans and exhibits, with the exception of any modifications noted herein or approved by staff;
- That the landscape materials must be installed as shown on the landscape plan, and all landscape materials must be maintained in a healthy condition, with dead or dying materials being replaced in accordance with the approved plan on an annual basis;
- That all landscape waste material must be completely removed from the dumping floor surface at the end of each business day and must be placed in a transfer trailer, and the transfer trailer must be fitted with a tarp so as to reduce odors and wind-blown debris leaving the site;
- That absolutely no composting of landscape materials may occur on the property, and that all landscape materials must be removed from the LWTF property within 24 hours of being brought to the property;
- That the facility may only operate between the hours of 7:00 am and 4:00 pm Monday through Friday, and between the hours of 7:00 am and 12:00 pm on Saturday. In addition, the facility may be open for business generally between March 15 and December 15 each year;
- That no on-site storage or parking of transfer trailers may occur during the off-season period when the facility is closed. In addition, the LWTF site may not be used for any other vehicle or equipment storage not related to LWTF operations;
- That the facility must obtain and maintain any and all required approvals from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and/or Illinois Pollution Control Board, with respect to the construction, operation and eventual decommissioning of the facility;
- That permits must be received for any and all facilities requiring review and approval by the Office of the State Fire Marshal, including but not limited to the proposed aboveground fuel tank;
- That the on-site LWTF employees must monitor inbound and outbound traffic conditions, and must ensure that regular vehicle stacking or queuing does not occur on Kuhn Road;
- That vehicles are prohibited from backing into the LWTF site off of Kuhn Road;
- That the steel tube across the access drive into the LWTF near Kuhn Road must be locked at all times when the facility is closed;
- That the applicant and/or operator of the LWTF will be responsible for cleaning up and properly disposing of any unauthorized dumping that takes place on the LWTF site;
- That the applicant/operator must provide a video surveillance system of the site;
- That transfer trailers serving the LWTF must travel to the LWTF site from Kuhn Road via North Avenue, and must not utilize Kuhn Road north of the LWTF property;
- That the applicant must modify the design of the fence to provide a double-wall solid wooden fence, and must submit plans to Village staff for further review. The applicant agrees, at the request of the Village, to supply an updated Noise Impact Assessment Report that takes into account the modified fence design;
- That the proposed portable office trailer must comply with all applicable building and fire codes, and with the requirements of the Illinois Accessibility Code;
- The automobile parking spaces must be striped in accordance with the Village’s looped parking space striping detail, and must meet the dimensional requirements set forth in the Village Code, and the accessible parking space must comply with the requirements of the Illinois Accessibility Code;
- That the dashed line parallel to and just east of the Kuhn Road right-of-way line should be identified as an existing public utility easement;
- That the final site grading and engineering must comply with the requirements of the DuPage County Countywide Stormwater and Flood Plain Ordinance, which may result in the need for modifications to the site plan;
- That no storage of any kind may take place outside of the fenced portion of the LWTF site; and
- That the facility must comply with all state, county, and Village codes and requirements.
Compliance – The Organic Soils Landscape Waste Transfer Facility must comply with all applicable codes, requirements, Village standards and conditions of approval. The Village will investigate complaints and enforce compliance.