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Landfill rule change comes as northwest Charlotte neighbors plan to fight against one that could still be built

City code allows construction debris landfills to be built in some residential areas, but that will change June 1.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A northwest Charlotte neighborhood found out the hard way that construction debris landfills are allowed to be built in residential areas. As the Oakdale neighborhood rallies against a proposed landfill next door, the city council voted this week to prohibit them near houses.  

However, the change may come too late to help them.

Homeowner Toni Barker loves living the quiet life in her Oakdale home. Her backyard has a patio, a large area for her animals, a chicken coop, and a pool.

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"You see, I've created what I thought was gonna be a great retirement place, but it's not gonna be so great," Barker said. 

She fears her backyard oasis will be ruined by loud noises, dump trucks, and debris from a construction landfill hoping to move in next door.  

"It’s gonna have 100 trucks run by and turn up the hill, right at my property line," Barker said as she pointed to the land behind her backyard. "It still rattles us to know that an old neighbor would do this to us." 

Many homeowners oppose the landfill, and some are even selling because of it. But there’s little they can do because city code allows them in residential areas zoned R3.  

"The rumble, the dust, the diesel, all of that is gonna affect my life from here on out," Barker said. 

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City leaders caught wind of this neighborhood’s predicament and have now changed the zoning rules. As of June 1, land-clearing and inert debris (LCID) landfills can only be built in manufacturing areas.  

"This is about not allowing a landfill to be built beside your home," Councilman James Mitchell explained before the council voted on the change. 

The vote protects neighborhoods from future proposals, but since the Oakdale landfill permit application was filed before the change, it could still be grandfathered in. 

"We don’t know what's gonna happen to us," Barker said.   

The landfill still needs the city and state to sign off on the permit. Mitchell told WCNC Charlotte he’s working with state lawmakers to try to stop it. 

WCNC Charlotte reached out to the company behind the landfill and is waiting to hear back. 

Previously, Sanders Utility has told WCNC Charlotte it is not affiliated with the plans and has no comment, but the contact information on the application is a Sanders Utility email. 

Previous attempts to reach out to Dew Green, LLC have also never been returned.

Contact Julia Kauffman at jkauffman@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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