Saratogans complain about facilityPublished 9:10pm Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Noise. Eyesores. Environmental concerns.
Three years after a company hoping to start a recycling center near a downtown neighborhood dropped its request after encountering opposition from the community, neighbors say a company operating in the location is causing many of the same problems they were afraid of, but it did not have to obtain a conditional use permit.
“They come to work sometimes at 4 o’clock in the morning,” said Calvin Prince, a nearby resident. The noise starts whenever the workers arrive, which is sometimes even earlier than that, he said.
“Our community is an older community,” he said, turning in a circle near the facility and pointing out several homes of elderly residents.
He also pointed out vehicle engines sitting on the ground uncovered, as well as a man offloading metal products from a pickup truck. Prince said the company is not living up to the promises made when it visited a civic league meeting and assured residents that it wouldn’t buy junk and would keep all materials in the warehouse.
It’s the situation the community was afraid of three years ago, when Mid Atlantic Recycling Solutions LLC wanted to operate a recycling center that would accept and package various metals to be shipped to other facilities for recycling.
Fearing rodents, noise and heavy truck traffic in their neighborhood, nearby residents put up a fight and succeeded in getting the Planning Commission to vote against approval. Mid Atlantic Recycling later dropped its request.
The sign now on the building says the company is Atlantic Coast Container Repair. It is not clear if it is connected with Mid Atlantic Recycling.
City spokeswoman Diana Klink said the zoning administrator had concluded the current operation to be a warehouse distribution use.
“Planning and Community Development has closely monitored this use and will re-inspect again to make sure it is operating in accordance with its approval,” Klink wrote in an email.
Calls to several numbers listed on the side of the building or the fence either went unanswered Monday, or the numbers were disconnected. A man inside who identified himself as the owner said he would not talk to a newspaper reporter, but did acknowledge working in the wee hours of the morning, saying it is a necessity for the business.