Just months after a South Riding man was fatally struck by a dump truck on Rte. 29 near the Manassas National Battlefield Park, a bill is being proposed in the Virginia General Assembly that would limit the amount of trucks on local roadways.
House Bill 1076, proposed by Del. Timothy Hugo, R-Centreville, would amend the current Virginia law and allow localities to require a special use permit for certain land filling activities on area farms that increase the amount of trucks hauling dirt to and from the sites.
The bill has garnered support from Gainesville District Supervisor Pete Candland who has been working on the "public safety" issue for nearly a year. In recent years there has been a marked increase in the amount of dump truck traffic in Western Prince William County, largely due to a growing number of farms being converted to landfills, he announced in a press release Tuesday.
School buses travel along the routes and the amount of trucks has contributed to necessary road improvements, Candland said.
A recent application by a property owner on Pageland Lane in Gainesville to operate a temporary land fill on his land has also sparked concern.
“This most recent application to allow a dump site off of Pageland Lane poses a threat to the safety of our roadways in Western Prince William County,” Supervisor Candland said. “This landfill operation will allow 250 dump trucks a day to navigate a two lane road used by many families and commuters. It goes without saying that this project will put our community at risk and endanger anyone who travels near this proposed landfill. I cannot sit by while we become the ‘Dump Capital of Northern Virginia.’”
The application also concerns President of the Western Prince William County Homeowners Alliance Mac Haddow, who agrees the main issue with the application is pubic safety. Last November, a South Riding man traveling along Rte. 29 was struck head-on by a dump truck traveling in the opposite direction. Haddow said that dump truck was going to a land fill dump site in the area.
Candland, who says the county supports normal farming activity and farming rights, said 250 dump trucks per day for two years indicates that the operation is not really for farming purposes.
Candland said county staff is looking for a remedy that would avoid Prince William County becoming the "dump capital of Northern Virginia" and highlights pubic safety, while also supporting farming operations.
The supervisor said the bill proposed by Mr. Hugo seeks a balance between supporting normal farming operations and public safety by allowing a locality to require a special exception or special use permit be obtained for land filling activities on agriculturally zoned property if such activities will include the delivery of more than 20 truckloads of construction or excavation material to the property in one day.
“I thank Delegate Tim Hugo for his efforts on this matter, and I urge our entire legislative delegation to support HB 1076, a common sense piece of legislation that will protect farming interests while keeping our roads safe,” Candland said.