Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Latest Eldred Township Engineer's Review Finds Significant Deficiencies in Nestle's Application

On April 15, Hanover Engineering Associates released an update of its preliminary February review of Nestle's Special Exception permit application.  The review covers three distinct areas: civil (reviewed by Brien Kocher), geology (reviewed by Chris Taylor), and the environmental impact statement (reviewed by Jason Smith).  These reviews identify several deficiencies in Nestle's application, which in this observer's view are fatal to Nestle's application.  This post will summarize only the most major - you can read the reports yourself and come to your own conclusions.

This report may affect tomorrow night's zoning hearing, since civil engineer Ed Davis will be exposed to a lot of questions he may not be prepared to answer on cross examination.  An Applicant can request a continuance.  You can be certain this report will be discussed, and I suspect Attorney Freed for Eldred Township may demand the application be denied and hearings halted.

You may want to arrive on time at 7pm, because sparks will be flying regardless.  Sources indicate the Nestle Counsel Timothy Weston filed a 20-page brief justifying the changes Nestle already made to its application.  That should be the first order of business.  These reports I expect will follow on the agenda.  A preview - many more changes are needed.

Let's get started - be warned, there are a lot of references to the Zoning Ordinance and SALDO - which contain requirements that Nestle's application must satisfy.

Civil Review

2: The Applicant has made ambiguous references to the current uses on the site.  There are trucking operations that were expanded after zoning was adopted, which have no permit according to the zoning officer.  Light Manufacturing, which this use was changed to due to the oversight of planner Carson Helfrich and several others, requires a use to be fully enclosed, which this one is not.  Uh-oh.

3: The Applicant has failed to produce an acceptable response to the township's request to demonstrate that the existing and proposed uses can satisfy the Ordinance's requirements for setbacks, etc of multiple uses on one lot.  This was first raised at the January Planning Commission meeting.

5: Since the Applicant has failed to properly identify uses, the parking required for each has remained ambiguous as well.  When your foundation is crap, you end up with crap.  Algebraically, C + X = C (1), where C is crap, X is anything.  Formula 1 is known as the crap identity.

24: The septic system of the house on the property may be within wellhead protection Zone 1, which is prohibited.  A proposed septic system requires a special exception, which was not requested as part of the application.  All lot owners within 1/2 mile will have to apply for a special exception permit to modify/add a septic system - over $1000 + attorney and engineering fees.  Nestle's storage "silos" (which are storage tanks) are not permitted in Zone 2 (also covered in 36).  Yikes - this is starting to sound serious.

33: There is only one septic system provided for two uses, but two may be required.  Where the heck will it be placed?  Uh-oh.

34: Existing roads must be shown on the site plan (duh), but they aren't.  Adequate setbacks from these roads are required.  Yeah, um, about those wellhead buildings Nestle placed right in the road.  Yeahhhh... lol

Environmental Impact Statement Review

2: The wetland evaluation study area may be insufficient, unless Nestle can prove otherwise.

3: The regulated stream that flows into a 48" metal pipe was not shown, nor buffers around it that are required.

6: Documentation must be provided that approves the redirection of the stream into the 48" pipe.  Uh-oh.  Where is Mr. Sheesley today?  It is reported that landowner Gower expressed a concern in the past about this pipe's existence.  Yup.

9: The Applicant has proposed activities within the 100-year floodplain, and additional analysis is required to prove these will not violate regulations.

10: An application and coordination with FEMA is required to address the possibility of floodwater entering the project area.  Better get on the phone - that will take more than a day.  {chuckle}

11: The outflow of the proposed storm water facility into the Buckwha is FUBAR.

13: A small bucket of species are not mentioned when assessing the impact of changes to wetlands and water courses.

15: This paragraph implies that significant work and contact with regulatory agencies is needed to show that plant species won't be affected.  Also something about contradictory statements by Nestle that it will and will not affect surface waters.  Communication breakdown.

16: The bog turtle study that was done appears to have not been sufficient in scope.  Damn, one more thing.

18:  Oh geesh.  The Applicant needs to provide additional data to show the effect of Nestle's operation on nearby wells, wetlands and the Buckwha Creek, because the test data supplied shows a decrease in baseflows.  Also, what effect discharging their storm water will have on the Buckwha - good question!

23: The Applicant states its operation will not negatively impact the Buckwha, but its test data show that it will affect flora and fauna and its recreational potential.  WTF?

2: (Zoning Ordinance): The storage "silos" (storage tanks) will be cleaned with regulated substances.  Regulated substances aren't allowed in wellhead protection Zone 2, where the tanks are.  Oh God, please make it stop.

5: (Zoning Ordinance) A secondary absorption area is required for the proposed septic system, but it wasn't provided.  Whose job was this?  Hello?


5: Simply put, Nestle is going to be drawing water from a recharge area far outside Gower's property.

Stick a fork in it - it's done

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