2018-07-11 / Front Page

‘Something’s got to be done’

Lapeer Twp. extends moratorium on new composting operations
810-452-2601 • npguliese@mihomepaper.com

LAPEER TWP. — A moratorium on new applications for site plans or special land use approval for composting operations was extended in Lapeer Township this week in a move township officials hope will buy enough time before a more permanent ordinance can be drafted.

In February, GFL Environmental USA Inc. sought a special land use permit from the township to run a large composting operation, shortly before the original six-month moratorium was enacted. Operations have been allowed to continue at the site since the previous owner had a similar business, leading many area residents to complain about foul odors affecting their quality of life.

The original moratorium was set to expire Aug. 22, but Lapeer Township Supervisor Scott Jarvis said the Lapeer Township Board “didn’t want that date to come and go.” Barring further renewal, the new extension will now expire exactly a year from when it was first enacted, Feb. 22, 2019.

Jarvis said the primary reason behind extending the moratorium is the number of complaints received about existing composting operations on the GFL site on 190 W. Newark Road, which began last year. “(There have been) several complaints in the past few weeks because it’s been so hot, something has got to change,” said Jarvis. “That’s the last thing I want Lapeer Township to be known for, is the smell.”

Jarvis said an ordinance is currently being drafted that would “place ground rules into effect” for any composting operation, of any size. “It just takes time,” he said. According to Jarvis, the ordinance will go from committee to planning commission before heading to the township’s board for a vote of approval, and the process was expected to exceed the original moratorium’s expiration date — hence the extension.

“We’ve got to dot all the Is and cross all the Ts,” said Jarvis. “If the water and the odor don’t concern people then it would be business as usual, but people can’t even enjoy the Fourth of July in their backyards. Something’s got to be done, it’s ruining people’s livelihoods in my opinion.”

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