GEORGETOWN — A recycling pickup program that a Scott County family started in February at their home has been ordered to shut down because it did not have proper permits.
On May 19, the Scott County Board of Adjustments decided that Andrew Welnicki's business, 180 Recycling, was inappropriate for the agricultural zoning that includes single-family residences, said Bonnie Skinner, a planner with the board.
Skinner said the board has given Welnicki 90 days to move to a new location or shut down the business, on Frankfort Road near Longview Golf Course.
Welnicki said he hopes he will not have to shut down his business. He's hoping to negotiate a deal with the city and county in which they will provide him with a location and pay for utilities while he provides equipment and manpower for a needed service in the area.
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"It would be the type of thing where everybody wins," Welnicki said.
Skinner said 180 Recycling needed a Conditional Use Home Occupation Permit to operate. The permit, which Welnicki applied for after he started the business, was denied because the business exceeded the definition of home-based.
Skinner said Welnicki's business has too many employees and too many vehicles, and the operation was greater than 300 square feet. She said Welnicki should have come to the board before starting his business.
Welnicki argues that there are several home businesses in his neighborhood without permits. However, Skinner says the board investigates only when there is a complaint.
Welnicki also has not obtained a building permit for the facility used to sort and bundle recycling, Skinner said.
He explained the process that occurs at his home to the board of adjustments during a hearing in April, following concerns from neighbors about pollution. Welnicki said recyclables are taken to the property and sorted. Liquids are poured into a bucket before the products are baled and sent to a recycling center in Lexington, he told the board.
Welnicki said he does not process materials on his property.
"In what way have we polluted or contaminated anything?" Welnicki asked the board, according video footage of the meeting. "There's no possible way we can pollute, we can create a contaminant, nothing."
But Scott County residents who live near Welnicki and disagreed with the location of the recycling business, said they were not fighting against recycling.
"His idea is a good idea," said Dinah Miller, who lives next door. "It just doesn't need to be at your home."
Miller said she learned about the recycling business from an article in the Herald-Leader; she thought Welnicki's family was building a greenhouse on their property.
Miller said she's concerned that Welnicki's business might attract more rodents and bugs in the area.
Another neighbor, Becky Lyons, said residents never had the opportunity to express their concerns about the business before it started. Skinner said a proper hearing would have been held, and conditions for the business would have been set, if Welnicki had gone to the board beforehand.
"None of us, at any time, have ever said we're against recycling or we're against the business. It's the location that's the problem," Lyons said. "We just feel like he needs to move it to an industrial business site."
Skinner said the property was not an eye sore and there was no evidence that he was harming the environment in any way.
"He actually kept the site immaculate," she said. "It was just excessive for a home occupation."