People who live near one landfill are fighting to keep another eyesore from moving in.
A landowner has plans to dig what's called a borrow pit on his property. He said one day the project will be beautiful, but right now some neighbors aren't interested.
Billy Thomas has lived in the Riverwalk subdivision in the Walter Hills area of Rutherford County for six years. It was the country lifestyle he was after.
"On the land out back we saw the deer and wild turkey and fell in love with it," Thomas said.
The view from his backyard right now is a landfill, referred to by many as "Mt. Trashmore."
"We already have the landfill in our backyards; we just don't want it on top of us," Thomas said.
Thomas is concerned about a proposed borrow pit next to his neighborhood.
"It would start near the tree line, and they are saying they are going to come within 150 yards from our property line," Thomas said.
Neighbor Karen Burton didn't know what a borrow pit was at first.
"After I started the research and found out it's going to be these great big holes," Burton said, "I can't see how that is going to be beneficial to the community."
Landowner Richard Reeves is asking the Rutherford County Board of Zoning Appeals for a zoning variance to be able to dig up clay from the property. He plans to sell it to the Middle Point Landfill to make money to pay off his land.
"We're asking that we be able to remove some of the clay, and re-spread the top soil over the area we're removing the clay from, reseed it, and (then) move on to another area," Reeves said.
Reeves tried to dispel rumors at a neighborhood meeting in Riverwalk yesterday evening. Homeowners feared the worst.
"We're worried about our property values going down; it's a tough economy already. We're also worried about foundation problems from blasting," Thomas said.
Reeves promised no blasting, just removing three to four feet of clay from 71 of his 205 acres. He also promised no trucks or heavy equipment would travel the streets of the subdivision.
"The landfill people will have nothing to do with any removal, transport, dumping of any clay removed on this site," Reeves said.
Homeowners didn't just want to take Reeves at his word. They wanted it in writing that neither he nor his family would ever sell his land to Middle Point Landfill.
"You got my word on that," Reeves said.
Riverwalk homeowners just don't want to see what is happening on West Jefferson and Landfill roads. There are massive holes with exposed rock at two separate borrow pits.
"We worked hard for our property; we love it, and don't want to see it destroyed," Thomas said.
Reeves told Riverwalk homeowners his long-term plan is to build a 25-acre lake on the property. He said they will have all access. He hopes this will increase his property value and homeowners as well.
The variance issue was on the zoning board agenda at its 4:30 p.m. meeting this afternoon, but Reeves asked that it be deferred until September.
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