In the latest round of a Catch-22 recycling-site situation in Cambria, according to Del Clegg, owner of Cookie Crock Market, county code enforcement has notified landowner Dean Vadnais that a longtime collection site at the top of Tamsen Drive must close by Friday, Sept. 18.
However, according to Clegg, the collection site’s co-owner, Michelle Rodriguez, and Art Trinidade, who heads up the county’s code enforcement division, legal negotiations are continuing to see whether there’s an alternative Cambria site that meets state regulations and county codes (perhaps on services district property, in Tin Village or back on the market’s already tight-for-space parking lot, which is also too close to residences), or whether those rules can be softened a bit to let the operation continue where it is for a time, at least until the situation can be resolved some other way.
The code-enforcement action has been driven by complaints, but Trinidade said he can’t discuss those.
Clegg said Wednesday, Sept. 9, that state law says there must be a place where people can return empty California Recycling Value (CRV) containers (from beer cans to soda bottles and more) and get their deposits back. That site is to be within a certain distance of a store, such as Cookie Crock, that sells those products.
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Clegg said if a collection site isn’t available, each CRV purveyor faces a fine of $100 a day. However, Trinidade said Tuesday, Sept.14, county regulations require that such a collection site be in a commercial or industrial zone that’s at least 500 feet from a “noise-sensitive zone,” such as a residence, school, etc.
Operating a recycling station requires a minor use permit. However, Clegg said the collection operation on that property might predate the county code.
The Rodriguezes have been trying to sell the collection business to Gregorio and George Celdon of West Coast Tree Service, but it can’t be sold without a location.