PHOENIX, Ariz., Oct 5, 2015 – RV park operators in the Deer Valley area of North Phoenix are telling their snowbirds it will be safe to come back this winter now that the city has shut down a nearby mulching facility with a reputation for producing intolerable odors and particulate pollution.
The Phoenix Board of Adjustment on Thursday ordered Green Earth Recycling to immediately cease operations and to pack up the piles of landscaping, wood and mulch on the property located at 22405 N 23rd Avenue within 60 days.
“The city did the right thing,” said Dr. Saundra Bryn, managing partner of Desert’s Edge RV – The Purple Park, who organized Deer Valley residents and businesses to share their complaints about Green Earth’s fumes and particulate pollution with city and county officials.
The Board of Adjustment action came one month after more than 250 Deer Valley area residents and businesses filed petitions demanding that the city shut down Green Earth’s mulching operation.
Petitioners said the open-air facility frequently blanketed Deer Valley area RV Parks and businesses with noxious fumes and airborne particles that covered parked cars and driveways with as much as a quarter of an inch or more of dust.
Deer Valley area businesses had also written to city officials complaining that their employees were calling in sick as a result of the fumes and dust from the Green Earth facility. Local RV park residents complained they couldn’t take walks, sit on their porches or enjoy other outside activities because of the fumes and dust. Some RV park residents who signed the petition also said they have had to seek hospital treatment as a result of the fumes and dust.
Bryn and other Deer Valley business operators said they are relieved that Green Earth has been ordered to shut down its mulching operations.
“We’re all doing the happy dance,” said Diana Ellis, resident manager of Phoenix Metro RV Park. “We are telling people it’s safe and to come on home!”
Green Earth had been operating a mulching business in violation of local zoning regulations and without a use permit since March of 2014. The city of Phoenix denied the company’s request for a three-year temporary use permit on July 8. Green Earth subsequently appealed.
But Green Earth failed to convince Alan Stephenson, Director of Planning and Development for the city of Phoenix, who wrote a letter to Green Earth’s attorney on Sept 30 stating that the business was not meeting the city’s regulatory requirements and that it was causing “an adverse impact” on property and persons in the Deer Valley area.
RV Park residents are thrilled with the city’s decision to shut down the Green Earth mulching facility.
“We’re all elated here at the park. Everybody is happy about it,” said Maggie Torres, a resident at Desert’s Edge RV Park – The Purple Park.
“Just the thought of knowing there is a resolution to all of it is great,” Torres continued. “It’s just a breath of fresh air. It’s a relief to know (Green Earth) is going to be gone and that that chapter is over and we can move forward now.”
Bryn, for her part, said she supports green businesses and takes great pride in operating Desert’s Edge RV Park as an environmentally friendly business. But she said Green Earth needs to conduct its mulching operations in a remote area away from people.
Desert’s Edge RV Park – The Purple Park and Phoenix Metro RV Parks are members of the Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, which represents campgrounds, RV Parks and resorts across the Grand Canyon State. The association also promotes tourism to Arizona through its website and its printed campground directory.
Additional Media Contacts:
Phoenix Metro RV Park
Jo Ann Mickelson
Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds