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Stafford planners recommend permit process for power-generating facility

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Before a power-generating facility can be built on government-owned land in Stafford County, a conditional-use permit must be granted, the Planning Commission recommended Wednesday.

That used to be required until March of this year, when Energy Extraction Partners LLC asked to speed up the process for building a waste-to-energy plant at the regional landfill.

The Board of Supervisors said the use could be by right, meaning no public hearings or approval by the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors was needed.

But public outcry and questions about the project led county supervisors and the board that manages the Eskimo Hill Road landfill—the Rappahannock Regional Solid Waste Management Board, or R-Board—to renege on their approval of the lease for land.

Then, in October, the Board of Supervisors again took up allowing power generators on county- or state-owned property that’s zoned agricultural or heavy industrial, and are considering once again requiring a conditional-use permit.

No one commented during Wednesday’s public hearing before the Planning Commission. The change was approved unanimously.

The Board of Supervisors has a final vote.

“I’m really pleased this came back,” said new Planning Commission member Tom Coen. “Quite honestly, I love the idea of having a process where there’s some checks and balances and the public has more input.”

Katie Thisdell: 540/735-1975