DADE CITY — Angelo's Aggregate Materials won't make any progress toward a county permit for its controversial private landfill until it gets state approval for the project, county officials have told the firm's lawyer.
Angelo's request for a state Department of Environmental Protection permit is tied up in appeals. The department last year denied the company's request to build and operate a 1,000-acre landfill near the Green Swamp.
A March 1 hearing in that case was delayed recently at the request of Angelo's, which said it needed to perform additional site investigation and potentially revise its engineering.
But even if Angelo's wins on appeal and gets its state permit, it will have a tough battle ahead at the county level.
Pasco officials also told Angelo's attorney that the company would need to get its property reclassified in the comprehensive land use plan from agricultural/rural to public/semi-public.
Angelo's could also ask the County Commission for an official interpretation of whether it needs to go through that lengthy process.
Currently, the company is pursuing a much easier land use request, applying for a "conditional use" of the property. That means it would be able to build and operate the landfill as long as it meets certain requirements laid out by the county.
But zoning administrator Debra Zampetti told Angelo's lawyer Gerald Figurski in a Feb. 23 letter that Angelo's would have to seek a reclassification of its property by requesting a change to the county land use plan.
That basically echoes a finding last March by the former growth administrator. But in a new three-page opinion, Growth Management Administrator Richard Gehring said his predecessor's finding is bolstered by a decision by commissioners last summer.
Commissioners decided to clarify in their land use plan that landfills for household garbage are allowed only on property designated for public and semi-public use. At that time, Figurski protested the measure, arguing that it was aimed at his client.
Earlier this year, Angelo's filed a revised plan that scaled back the proposed landfill to 716 acres.
The landfill has been controversial in east Pasco. Neighbors, east Pasco organizations and the cities of Tampa and Temple Terrace have opposed the project, warning of traffic problems, sinkholes and threats to drinking water.
Jodie Tillman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6247.