DRB approves All Metals Recycling’s permit to establish outdoor storage area despite argument
Oct. 27, 2011
By Luke Baynes
The livelihood of a Williston scrap metal recycling company was at stake Tuesday when representatives from All Metals Recycling appeared before the Williston Development Review Board to seek approval of a discretionary permit to establish an outdoor storage area and continue operation of a scale at its Dorset Lane facility.
Following a public hearing in which the DRB heard opposing comments from Hobart Popick — an attorney from Langrock Sperry & Wool, LLP representing 13 Williston residents, including Mark Burnett, owner of the Hinesburg-based Burnett Scrap Metals LLC — the DRB approved the discretionary permit, with several stipulations.
As part of the conditions levied by the Board, All Metals will be required to install a vegetative buffer on its property and add additional shrubbery in front of a dilapidated fence. All Metals will also be prohibited from recycling automobiles at its Williston facility — a service it provides at its primary Hardwick location.
Williston town planner Ken Belliveau was particularly emphatic about the prohibition of automobile recycling because of the potential for hazardous waste pollution.
“As I recommended in the ‘Conditions of Approval,’ and what my understanding was of their operations here in Williston, was that (automobile recycling) was not part of their operation and we would not support that,” Belliveau said.
Randy Towns, co-owner of All Metals Recycling, nodded in agreement at Belliveau’s comments.
Popick, speaking on behalf of Burnett, whose company is in the business of automobile recycling, argued that the location of the All Metals facility — which, unbeknownst to Towns when he moved in two years ago, is partially located on town land — could prove to be costly to the town if the business were to relocate.
“If the tenant were to cease operations and go elsewhere, will the town actually have a potentially hazardous clean-up situation on its hands that town residents would then have to be responsible for, to the extent that a portion of these operations are actually occurring on town property?” asked Popick.
Towns, addressing the Board, said the use of town land was unintentional and made no mention of All Metals possibly relocating from Williston.
“As far as us using the town’s property — for which I certainly apologize … (the owner) didn’t even know, or wasn’t sure, where the property line ended, so we did not do that intentionally at all,” Towns said.
To continue to operate on town land, All Metals would be required to enter into a lease agreement with the town of Williston. The agreement would have to be approved by the Williston Selectboard.
Brian Beaudoin, a senior project manager with Sanborn, Head & Associates — retained by All Metals as a consultant — said early indications are that the town is open to negotiating a lease agreement.
“The conversations that I’ve had with Bruce Hoar, the public works director, is that the town of Williston is willing to enter into a lease agreement,” Beaudoin said. “We’re going through that process right now.”