Burtco seeks temporary gravel crushing, sales OK at car wash site

 

By Shawn Cunningham
After a site visit earlier in the day, Chester’s Development Review Board on Monday began consideration of a project to extract, crush and sell gravel on the 5.3 acre site of Burtco’s new Abenaque Car Wash on Route 103 South. Stanton Scott of Burtco introduced the project as a way to bring the grade of the rest of the property down to match that of the new car wash. Burtco Inc. logo

DRB member Amy O’Neal has recused herself from the issue, saying that she had sold the property, which fronts Green Mountain Union High School, to Burtco.  Burtco owns and operates a number of self-storage facilities and car washes in Vermont, including neighboring facilities on Route 103 South in Chester.

The site currently is home to a large amount of “bank run” gravel that would be more valuable if it was crushed and screened by sizes. Burtco estimates that the project would result in 22,000 cubic yards of crushed, screened gravel. One thousand to 1,300 truck trips will be needed to haul the gravel away and, when the lot is cleared, 4 inches of topsoil will be laid down then seeded to create “a big lawn,” he said.

The board immediately questioned the conditional use that the project was claiming to use. Board member Harry Goodell noted that it didn’t seem to fit under “Retail Construction and Building Materials.” After some discussion it was decided that it would fit under “Heavy Construction Trades,” which includes “earth moving, excavation, trucking and paving.”

The DRB  immediately questioned the conditional use that the project was claiming to use. After some discussion it was decided that it would fit under “Heavy Construction Trades,” which includes “earth moving, excavation, trucking and paving.”

Bob Bazin of Bazin Trucking will be contracted to do the crushing. According to Bazin, the two crushers and one screener he plans to use are newer models that meet stricter noise requirements. “There’s still noise, but not like the older crushers,” Bazin noted. “We get more complaints about the back-up alarms on our equipment than the crushers.”

Bazin said that at 1,500 cubic yards a day, the work could be done in 15 to 20 days of crushing during the 18-month duration of the permit. Scott explained that 18 months represented the longest time it might take to sell the crushed gravel, not the time it would take to do the work.

Bazin said it would be best to get crushing as soon as possible to have gravel ready for mud season and noted that it would sell faster when it’s needed.

Several residents raised the question of how crushing work could have been done during the summer when the original conditional use permit for the car wash did not include crushing. Board chair Carla Westine explained that since the lot is smaller than 10 acres, it did not trigger an Act 250 review and, under Chester’s zoning regulations, a landowner can have stone crushed on site for his own use. Only when the stone is crushed for sale is a conditional use permit required. There are currently no standards for noise in the regulations.

According to Scott, he only crushed enough stone for constructing the new car wash and the large pile on the property has yet to be processed.

The hearing was recessed until Monday, Jan. 27, when Scott and his engineer will return with information requested by the board. The Chester Select Board will take up the question of how much of a bond is needed to ensure the restoration of the site after the work is done.

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