A commercial mulching operation at the former APAC landfill and quarry that’s seeking a permit after operating for several months without one had its request delayed until January to allow an engineering study.
Old Castle Lawn and Garden had believed the industrial zoning at the site, which is off 162nd Terrace between Metcalf Avenue and 69 Highway, had allowed the mulch manufacturing operation, according to its attorney, David Waters, and is now seeking the necessary special use permit.
When Overland Park planning inspectors first visited the site, they found piles of mulch material exceeding 30 feet in height and as close as 75 feet from the north property line, according to a staff report. Materials on the site included soil, compost and composted cow manure.
“At the time, dust, odors and other particulates had escaped the property,” according to the staff report. “Staff was made aware of the operation and its effects on the surrounding properties and informed the applicant that the piles need to be moved away from the property line, which the applicant agreed to do.
“The staff allowed the coloring and bagging operation to continue in order to reduce the amount of untreated materials on-site while the special use permit is pending.”
At the Overland Park City Planning Commission meeting, commissioners were told the piles are now 14-feet high and have been moved 500 feet from the north side of the property.
Joe Ertel, a representative of the Illinois-based firm, said Old Castle would like to continue operating at the site where it employs 25- to 30 people. He said operation is one of 40 the firm runs around the United States.
The only person speaking at the public hearing was Craig Wood of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. He supported the operation because one of the materials used for mulching is recycled wood from pallets and building materials. The pallets would otherwise be taken to landfills, Wood said.
The commission decided unanimously to give Old Castle time to conduct the engineering study requested by staff. The special use permit request is expected to be taken up again Jan. 9.