Snap o’ the day: Bird’s eye dump view

The day after Albemarle County filed suit against Cismont junkyard owners Cecil and Doris Gardner for their failure to meet a December 31 clean-up deadline, pilot/photographer Skip Degan took this shot January 12 at 1,500 feet above the Gardners' Campbell Road 16-acre property.

53 comments

amused. I'm just going on what you said. You said your family complained, so I assumed the neighbors,community, and you, may have seen them as whiners. You said you didn't have fond memories of the gated community, so I assumed you were unhappy.
Anyway, Do you have any idea concerning- WHY these people wanted to own/operate a dump? The Cismont owners have ruined their land. No one would want to buy it now that it looks/is so bad.
Why didn't they do something smart like raise horses,or turn it into a bed and breakfast? The land would be worth 20 times more, if they had done so.
I'm just thinking they certainly didn't make very wise economic decisions. They obviously devalued their own property. To me, that is plain stupid. I know you think they are "entitled", but do you think they were smart to trash their own land?

what is wrong with burying trash on my farm if there are no toxic issues with the water table? An old bottle be it glass or plastic 3 feet underground can stay there for a million years and not hurt anybody.

Maybe thats waht they should do with all of the leftover junk, rent a bulldozer and BURY it.

Vic,yep you are correct about the hundreds of leaking underground tanks ALL OVER Charlottesville and Albemarle. Ask DEQ to tell you about them all.Your hair will stand on end. Sad thing is, they can't dig it all out of the soil. Many times,they just close cases and leave soil there. DEQ has limited funding.
From what I hear, all of the tires known to have burned on the dump site left many hazards in in the soil."Looks can be deceiving".

Hello amused. You certainly are entitled to your opinion. Obviously the dump owners don't care how the property looks. Check out the photo. My question is WHY don't they care? Most people I know, wouldn't want their homes, yard, or land to look terrible. Many animals look to more cleanliness and order in their lives. You seem to be sympathetic toward the landowner, so maybe you can answer my question. Why would anyone want to trash the best monetary investment they have? (home property) Please shed some light here.
Just curious, did you grow up near or in a dump? Did you grow up in a place with junk thrown all about? It is not your fault if you did. Others and I are curious about this. Be honest with us.

amused, In answer to your question concerning the testing information: Many,many have the reports.
Come on, folks are talking about this case all over the state. It certainly isn't secret information. Now, I hope you can shed some light-questions. That is what a "debate" is all about.

This doesn't look very (environmentally) bad. Sure it looks aesthetically bad, but neighbors do not purchase a view when they buy a property. Go down to your courthouse and read over your deed. You don't own a view.

Go to West Virginia, and this property would be above average.

Just recycle all that stuff. Scrap metal is paying well now with the high price for steel.

In the City, Charlottesville actually pays for a program to put scrap metal on display in road medians.

amused, As I zeroed in, I saw piles, clutter, and what appear to be tarps covering WHATEVER. To me, it looks like inconsiderate and uncaring people live in such a place. Come on, this is a high rent area. Neighboring property owners must know such a mess is infringement of their rights and also ruinous to property values.

The photographer has figured out the most solid way to monitor county progress with zoning enforcement. Here is a fantastic idea, to capture the real story from the air.
Man, this place looks terrible. Where is the pride? I feel sorry for the neighbors. No wonder they are furious about the situation.
Time for the government to make them clean the place up.

Good answer Cletus. That's why we have specialist in every field anyone could imagine. I always have taken professional for there word, if DEQ, County of Albemarle, Health Dept. and the Fire/Rescue people have tested and don't have a problem then what is wrong with the neighbors? Seems to me someone keep stirring the pot and wants to keep this in the media, there certainly are alot more important things going on in this world. You know what they say about stirring a pot?

Jolted, only of you know absolutely nothing about chemistry. Benzene shows up, in very small amounts, in ANY distilled petroleum product. Gasoline is predominantly made from short length aliphatic hydrocarabons not benzene(which is aromatic). The benzene is a result of an imperfect distillation process. Benzene is a wonderful organic solvent but it also degrades plastic seals and gaskets. So having benzene in your gasoline in any appreciable amount is a bad thing for your car. Other non aromatic additives such as ethyl alcohol or ether are added to gasoline to help keep your engine "clean". So the "benzene = gasoline connection" is bunk.

Cletus---DEQ was forced to hire an independent testing firm to conduct the assessment. Many/I believe in the firm's findings.
Many don't completely trust DEQ--including yours truly.
So keep it up. You are not putting two and two together. You are making yourself look foolish and desperate. I wonder who you are working for????

jolted - Oh I love this I really am getting into this debate. No I'm not whoever you think I am. I don't know the family or work for the government. I do however think you are a neighbor but so what, you are intitled to your oppinion however bias it may be. I know for a fact that DEQ ALWAYS use independent testers and not was not forced to hire one. Again you might know some facts but not all. And the Dump owners must not be worried about the property values or what there yard looks like good for them. I look at a house down the street that is yellow with red trim and a brigh blue door everyday and they have 5 large dogs and 7 cats and it is a site but OH well. I would raither have them as a neighbor than one that complains about what I have. And you must have spent hours to get test and reports from DEQ. What is your stake in this? What are you going to gain?

Come on Cletus,
Everyone knows there is a "direct" connect.

Jolted, posture all you like. Benzene is not gasoline. That is demonstrably incorrect. And to answer your question .. yes. It is perfectly normal to find "benzene components" in soils anywhere. "Benzene components" would include things like Carbon and Hydrogen (the only 2 components of benzene) and you'd be hard pressed to show me that those elements weren't found in soil everywhere. So maybe you ought to give some thought to what you're saying rather than making yourself look like an ignorant fool. I'm sorry you're pissed off about the situation but everything you've said is wrong. Please don't take my word for it. Look it up. As for doing your own testing, what good would that do? You think "benzene = gasoline" so how would you be able to understand any of the results? Are you channeling information from the benzene fairy in the netherworld? Sounds like it to me. So next time your in touch with Tinkerbell from the benzene netherworld why don't you ask her what DiCloroMethane is, what a nasty organic solvent it is and why VA still allows this solvent to be used when most other states have outlawed it's use(if you're so concerned about health issues in the commonwealth). 1 last thing; if you dug up 1 square mile (to a depth of 1 foot) of an arbitrary patch of soil you would find (on average)about a TON of both Thorium and Uranium. THESE ARE perfectly natural to find in soil. Why aren't you whining about that?

Vic-There are too many unresolved dumping situations in Albemarle County. There are file reports to prove this.
Now, what I'm seeing, is a direct connect between "the look" and the environmental hazards that can lie under the junk. We're not just talking about the topical appearance in this case. In very basic screening tests, DEQ has confirmed the presence of benzene components and higher levels of arsenic on this site. Let's not forget there were also two very serious fires here. One fire is documented to have burned over 2,500 cubic feet of tires into the earth. The surface view points to deeper concerns on this site.

Old Macdonald,You just inspired the greatest idea. Maybe we can get the government to donate a big piece of land. They can then ask all people with your "point of view" to move there and away from the more civilized community. There you can live in your own filth, bury your trash,clutter your yard, hide your chemicals, burn your tires, etc. Then everyone will be satisfied. I would think you would be happier. You would then be with your own kind.

Amused--As I read through the lines, it is apparant you and your family would not have been the types to willingly follow the contracted rules of a gated community. Why would you even consider living in such a place? It is clear to all, there are restrictions in these places! My guess, the other neighbors were not very accepting of your family, as they probably didn't "fit in".
Now it is clear why you think dumps are OK. You were raised to believe digging pits and burying your trash was fine. If you were wealthy enough to hire farm hands, why didn't you dispose of the trash in a more environmentally responsible manner?
Now, I'm not saying your family's behavior is your fault. I am suggesting you rise to a higher standard.
I'm glad you have a dog. The dog is not the problem.

jolted - You are Interpreting something that I didn't say. I never once said we didn't comply. My parent's didn't agree with certain rules and alot of gate communities and certain sub division DO NOT have every rule on paper as it comes up then it is voted on and then made a rule. When you come from money you do live in upscale area's. My family always has "fit in" whatever your definition of that is. And if you are lucky enough to know anyone that has a farm in your area you might check with them and see what they do and have done for years, this isn't new news and this doesn't hurt the environment. What do think happens to the tons of trash that are collected from homes? It certainly doesn't just disappear. You should do some research on how we dispose of trash in Virginia you would be surprised, this might be a better crusade than the one you are on.

jolted - opinions are one thing but you are just plain "RUDE"

Jolted, since you are such an expert in these matters perhaps you'll explain to us all what an allodial land title is, whether you have one or not and why or why not?

Amused Cletus, There is a direct connect to gasoline and OTHER petroleum products. Or maybe you think horse poop contains benzene!
Is it normal or natural for benzene components to exist in this rural soil? NO it is not.Some questionable "activity" and persons put it there.
Do you think DEQ has done the better or deeper testing on this site? No they have not. Oh, and lets go back to the beginning of the exposed embarrassment. The county and their fire/rescue department told residents that they had everything under control.HA They initially said they saw no need to call in DEQ. How dumb is that?
Its a nobrainer,DEQ and Albemarle are working together as hard as they can to "do as little as they can", to make this situation go away. They should realize people in the community will CONTINUE to perform their own testing. They won't allow this one to be shoved under the rug. Obviously, you don't know the complete facts. YEP--The neighbors are smart to stir the pot. Do you work for the local/state government? Sounds like it!

Hello Cletus---Oh yea, I know what you're getting at. You are trying to say "only the FEDS" have anything to say/do with this case. You may be a dreamer or "someone's" lawyer. If I were them/you, I would drop this case like a hot potato! What a far-fetched idea in this issue. From what I hear, "Others" have the full scoop and the $$$$ too. They have done their homework.
The Mensa study group is HA HA "ing".
I think you better begin many FOI's--and you better look harder, although for you, some info is "not to be found". You don't get it, smarty pants!

amused, OHHHH who is upset now? Obviously, Someone has touched a nerve with you. Turn your computer off if you can't handle it. You must not understand blogging!
EVERYONE is entitled to an opinion, right? I guess you think this avenue is only open to folks who LOVE TRASHY DUMPS! You are certainly not going to convince normal folks to like illegal dumps.
By the way--GREAT IDEA, call in your legal advisor and have him put the property on the market. My guess, the neighbors will be thilled to see you get your small fee and then move on. Don't forget, EVERYONE is entitled to an opinion.

"Benzene = gasoline". Where in the world did you get this idea?

Yes-SOTLR, Many agree with you. In light of the "findings" with basic surface testing, DEQ should now move forward in conducting more "comprehensive testing".

"In very basic screening tests, DEQ has confirmed the presence of benzene components and higher levels of arsenic on this site."

This means about as much to me as the hundreds of defendants sitting in prisons nationwide which have been convicted with the help of an FBI forensic tool that was discarded more than two years ago (comparative bullet analysis). Discarded because it has now been proven as very unrealiable. Things are not always as they appear just because some "expert" says they are. DEQ needs to use something a little better than the "very basic screening tests" in my opinion.

I hope once they are done being forced to move the stuff from their PRIVATE property they go to lowes and buy a bunch of ugly blue tarps and use them to cover NOTHING just to piss off the neighbors.

The chemical tests were done correctly and while they showed the "presence" of some chemicals none rose to a level of illegality.

If the neighbors don't like it MOVE.

I guess the county is now too prim and proper to allow such trash even thought the county is guilty of non-enforcement of its own rules for 30 years. Perhaps we can place this trash on the "green roof" and no one will see it!

bebopaloobop,
"illegality"???
You have no idea what the true levels-toxins are on this site. They don't live on an island ya know. On up the road, if some kid gets cancer after drinking from a tainted well, maybe you'll regret your words. It is time to do the better testing that hasn't been done.

Maybe DEQ should do random testing of all neighbors within a 10 mile radius to see what shows up on there land. Just maybe the whole Cismont area is contaminated. With all the vineyards in the area spraying and all the horses farms not to mention all the tires on the cars on the roads and the cars that are made out of metal Oh and the shingles on our roofs and the trash that we burn and on and on.

Amused, Macdonald, I'm afraid you are headed for a rough road. Are you related? In the view of many, your ideas are so similar, far removed, and backward in a progressive community. If you live locally, and my guess is you do: I would advise you to be prepared for neighbors to be critical and watchful of your movement.
The laws are being tightened. Your views-burying/dumping will not be tolerated in this society. People in the office are laughing at you. I'm just being honest. Our opinion, you both really need to go back to school asap!!! NO ONE takes you seriously. In fact, we see your comments and position as pitiful. Get more education...really

Your name says it all JOLTED. Laugh all you want. Watch all you want. I'm going to burn my trash tonight before the garbage man comes tommorrow. LOL

AMUSED,YOU seem very unhappy,frustrated, AND angry???What is your problem with law abiding folks?We advise you to seek help.Do you have other interests? We hope so.
You sound as if you were taught,it is OK to ruin the environment.Are you a family member or owner of the dump? It seems possible to us. You have the very same ideas.
I want to say this in a nice way.I'm trying to help you. You are entitled to express yourself. The sad fact here, you are not effective in changing the minds of the more enlightened people writing in. For the most part, your views are simply unaccepted. You really are wasting your time and effort. Your ideas are outdated.You will never win this debate.

Oh Mona, Jolted - Chill all is good. I never expected to win nor will you with me. I find more people agree with me than with jolted. Does that make you mad. Sorry. I'm the most happy person around ask my thousands of friends. I like to shop, travel all over the world and blog for fun. It's not against the law to burn are you crazy. I've haven't done it in years but I already checked and its o.k. unless is over a certain size but I only have 1 bag today.

AMUSED From what I read in all the papers and hear on TV, you are no where close to winning.I'm glad you are content with talking to the wind. Honey, that in itself is LOSING though.
No,Jolted and others are running circles around you. I read the other blogs too.I know who you are.
No I'm not crazy and I'm not mad. I believe you are SAD. I won't respond to you again.
I'll use my time to talk with those who behave appropriately and reasonably. I will also treasure and protect the environment as I move through life.Tonight I hope your boring project of burning trash smells well to you and your family.Have a wonderful time.
I thank God I don't live anywhere near you.
I guess, in the future, you will be spending your money on many lawyers.Better put some funds away.Costs are going up.

Doolittle, Where are you? We all miss you! Any insight or news of late? Thank you

Poor jolted need help. doolittle is around just keep looking. I blog at her all the time.

Yes DOOLITTLE, it has been awhile. I agree we would love to hear from you. YOU are the smart one here.

amused, no I am firm. I have not cursed you/libeled you, etc. Your philosophy/attitude is concerning to many. A civilized society craves limits. Did you know, it can be abnormal and "animalistic" to bury/hoard trash/junk?
No, I have thousands of friendships. I do steer away from those who believe it is "their right" to illegally dump. The accompanying problems are too great here.
My advice, get a counselor to help with your frustrations. Perhaps take time to go back to school. You would learn much about our environment. Hopefully you could be educated to understand why most reasonable people feel as I do.

I have all the education I need and money that I could possible spend. You should try counseling along with your "thousands of friends" if you all feel you have a "right" to tell other people what they can have on their land. I hope you dont drive a vehicle because you are poluting the "environment" and I really hope you are recyling your garbage. Do you reuse your plastic bags?
I just wonder what you think about what I saw the other day while driving I witness a little old lady with a wheel barrel carrying her trash/leaves/brush across the road to someones property to dump them so her yard looked manicured. Is this illegal in your opinion?

Jolted: So I guess that means you don't know. And based on your inane response you clearly don't know what I'm getting at. But that didn't stop you from spending a great deal of effort telling me I'm wrong. About what you have no idea. But I'm wrong. That's funny. :) So did you actually intend to rebuke anything I've said or are you just going to insist I'm a bad person because you don't know how to argue effectively? LOL!

Jolted is simply a frustrated busybody. Why don't you address the real question I asked. What is wrong with burying anything that won't affect the soil? What is the difference between 10 feet of dirt underneath the grass or 4 feet of dirt and 6 feet of debris? Nothing that is what. But your simple brainwashed mind cannot grasp that fact.

Cletus, Oh yes, I know too much about all of this.
Now Cletus, let me hear YOU go into detail: Allodial Piece---if you're sure everyone is interested.Come on and explain it all to everyone.
I can't wait to read your reply.
I refuse to take my time to bend to your wishes.
I will not say you're a bad person either. As for skill-arguing, I have no regret. I receive satisfactory results.
I have an idea, perhaps you, Old Macdonald,and amused should get together.....

Jolted I grew up in a gated community. I remember my parents complaing about the home owners society telling them and neighbors what they could and couldn't do, What you can have in your yard, were you can and can't park your cars, when you can have Christmas lights up and when they have to be taken down, etc. etc. My grandparents owned a very large farm and living on a farm the farm hads burned your trash and other items you no longer wanted in pits. This was 40+ years ago and I'm still sure farms around still do just what this family does. I have fond memories on the farm but not very good ones of the gated community. It seems to me that is what kind of environment you like and you should think about this in you next home purchase. In looking at the picture I still don't see but a bunch of building a very large house, and several trailers of sorts. Not a bunch of hazardous metals and trash as reported. Maybe the family has removed this so it doesn't show but that should be a good thing for you and your neighbors. As far as animals you must not have any because dogs will eat there own fecis and waddle in it, as far as cats they eat there young so No I would compare this with animals. As far a sympathy goes I believe and will always believe your home is just that YOURS if you want a dump so be it, if you want a nice manicured yard good too but it's there property NOT yours or the county or anybody else's. As for my home the outside is very manicured but we have 7 cars so it might be considered a junk yard to you, the inside is lived in and I have a dog so you would probable hate it. I'm always honest I have nothing to hide as I said it's fun to debate with others because neither you or I will every agree.

amused,hay you got a problewm wif the nieghbors?what they dun to you?nothin i bet.seem like you mad at em.an you sure is kisin up to countee.
you take word of profesional.that aint to smart in thes case. countee dun goof up bad.you one of the famlee?git over it.the nieghbors got a rite to they opinyon.an I kant blame em for bein up set with them peple makin sutch a ugle mess.they jus bein disrespecfal to hole nieberhood.

NO NO - No Problewm wif the nieghbors? I just have a "problewm" with noisy people that don't know facts but like to make themselves look smart and intelligent and come across *(*&*#. And NO I'm "countee" or "famlee" I just find it amuzing to see what other people BLOG. I make my comments on what I know and I know that the county wouldn't purposely make up things. I think the whole problem with the "nieghbors" is they dont like there view. You cant tell other people what they can and can't have in there yards or on there property. The property owners have a right and NO NO you sound like you have seen the "ugle" mess.

Have you read the report/testing? MANY others/I have. Some have also talked with reps/DEQ. We have been told that what was found on the site, IS "linked to abnormal activity" IN THIS CASE. We have also been informed that some findings are inconsistent with "what should have been found" under most circumstances. If you have the guts to admit your real name/address, we'll send you the report. I never thought/said benzene WAS gasoline. Who is really the dummy in this case? Do your homework. Read the connecting report for yourself before you spout off! YOU wouldn't be saying what you are saying IF you knew THE WHOLE story. By the way, residents know some things the govenment doesn't know. They are holding some information for later and close to their chest. You are not as smart as you think you are. More to come LATER so Get used to it.

Jolted: Yeah... I hate it when mere facts get in the way of my conclusions. So you bring it on. And I'll be happy to continue poking holes in your absurd contentions. For example: How much sense does it make to say DEQ is inept and then cite them as a credible source? So who's the dummy? I think that's clear for all to see. So, as you say, get used to it. LOL!

The last response was for Cletus.
Now on to amused: As several have followed the story, it is not hard to determine who you probably are.
Just wondering, Did you grow up in a place where junk/clutter was strewn about? People who are raised in junky places "get used to crappy views". They are also brainwashed to "not care what the neighbors think". It is beyond me why ANYONE would hurt their own true property values, as has been done by the owners-Cismont Dump. Why are they SO "ATTACHED" to junk? Call in the experts. This would be a project for an aspiring specialist.

This is clearly proof that a picture is worth a thousands words.

jolted - In all your blogs I can tell you are a very hateful person the way you answer people who don't agree with you. Just because I or anybody else here doesn't agree with you you dont need to be nasty. I'm glad I have money in case I ever come across anybody like you who tries to tell met what I can do with MY land or home. As far as there land value trash/junk wouldn't stop any developer from coming in and buying it my family does it all the time. I just might have my legal advisor check into all of this for me.

I don't think this pictures shows anything but a house and it looks like buildings and trailors. Were is the piles of metals and trash I keep hearing about? Why didn't the photographer get closer so we could really see what all the fuss it about.

Benzene = gasoline.

As bad as this looks, a single house with a leaking underground heating oil storage tank can wreak way more havoc than these cars and piles of junk.

And there are thousands of homes with old heating oil tanks. They should be a higher priority.