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Plans for Controversial Recycling Center on Egg City Site Head for Vote

Moorpark: County report concludes that there would be few negative environmental impacts.


After months of study, county planners are poised to consider an Oxnard company's application to build a recycling center on a portion of the old Egg City chicken farm north of Moorpark.

The planning department issued a report on the center Thursday, finding that it would have few negative impacts. The Planning Commission will consider the project at its meeting Thursday.

M-Maintenance Construction & Clean-Up of Oxnard is seeking a permit to recycle such old building materials as lumber, concrete, bricks, tile and metal on a 4.5-acre section of the property.

But progress on the development bogged down in recent months as some Moorpark residents said that the area isn't zoned for industrial use and that the proposed facility would increase noise, water and air pollution as well as crowd an already congested California 23, which borders the property.

"I'm not against the project, it just doesn't belong here," said rancher Patty Waters, who has been a critic of the project from the beginning. "If it gets built, there's going to be a lot of dust and, so far, there's no drainage or wind control and we've already got our fair share of truck traffic."

However, the planning department study concluded that those fears are unfounded.

The report states that the proposed site is above an isolated aquifer that does not feed others used for drinking water. Additionally, runoff from the center would be negligible and would be caught by a retention basin.

Air pollution would also be negligible, the report found, because the facility would be allowed to use its diesel-powered concrete crusher and loaders a specific number of days during a three-month period.

To ease concerns about congestion, the county would require the company to abide by several regulations, including restrictions on the routes and number of daily truck trips.

"The county believes that all their [residents'] concerns have been mitigated," planner Becky Linder said. "There are a lot of conditions that have to be met before the center can begin operations."

But that hasn't stopped other groups, such as the Ventura County Farm Bureau, from opposing the project.

"Our fundamental objection is that a recycling facility is incompatible with the surrounding area," bureau President Rex Laird said. "There are a lot of farms out there that will be affected if the project goes through."

However, Joe Reisdorf, a partner at the Malibu-based environmental consulting firm Aurora Associates, which represents M-Maintenance, said such objections are baseless. He said he is confident that the commission will approve the permit.

"With these kinds of projects, residents always have their preconceived notions on how it's going to hurt them," he said. "But our position is that this will not hurt the surrounding area, and plans for the center have remained constant."

If the Planning Commission approves the permit, critics can file an appeal to the Board of Supervisors.

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