Deadline passes: Cismont junkyard foes dump on county

What tells Snookie Wawner that his embattled neighbors missed Albemarle County's December 30 deadline for cleaning up the illegal dump they've run for more than 30 years?

"I'm looking at a pile of junk right now," he reports from his Campbell Road residence in Keswick, next door to Cecil and Doris Gardner's 16-acre property.

Before Christmas, nearby residents had been fearful the deadline would be missed, but county officials urged calm and said there was nothing they could do until the deadline actually passed.

Well, the deadline has come and gone, and an inspection promised for the first week in January has not happened because the Gardners have been out of town, according to emails sent to Albemarle building and zoning services manager Amelia McCulley.

Residents who have been complaining about the dump since 1976 are now accusing the county of "coddling" the Gardners.

"We feel trying to do an inspection when the legal property owners are not present is not the best way to proceed," says county spokeswoman Lee Catlin. "We certainly have not done anything we would consider coddling."

Wawner is not convinced. He's lived there 29 years and says that so far, the dump owners have been able to "slide." The perception, he says, is the county is "dragging their feet" in scheduling the inspection.

Former neighbor Pat Napoleon wonders if it was an emergency that took the Gardners out of town, considering that the Board of Supervisors said in June it would not extend clean-up deadlines beyond December 30.

"The county may as well write in the policy manual for enforcement of dumps, 'Don't worry, we'll let you take all the time you want,'" she fumes. "'We won't fine you or prosecute you, and we'll set meaningless deadlines. We'll use taxpayer money to provide staff, resources, and supervision– and we'll schedule meeting times at your convenience!'"

"We know the neighbors are very sensitive to this and anxious to getting it resolved," says Catlin. "We are, too."

The county has bungled enforcement on the dump over the years, starting by erroneously concluding the junkyard operation had been grandfathered in. In 1984, one day after the county advised the Gardners that a gigantic pile of tires was a fire code violation, the pile mysteriously caught fire and burned for two weeks.

It wasn't until after a massive January 4, 2005, fire that zoning officials looked at aerial photos taken soon after Albemarle's 1969 zoning regulations went into effect and discovered the junkyard didn't exist then.

"We want the county to do its job," steams neighbor Bonnie Stevens. "We are not pleased. I find their failure to act criminal."

Catlin defends the county's handling of the cleanup. "We encourage volunteer cleanup. In the long term, when you don't take people to court, time and money go to the cleanup. The neighborhood is not well served if you take someone to court, and months and years go by with no cleanup," she says.

According to Catlin, 90 to 95 percent of the 16 acres had been cleaned as of June.

"Baloney," Stevens fires back.

From his next-door perspective, Wawner estimates the cleanup at 75 percent.

Neighbors are worried about environmental hazards oozing into the soil and water from items in the junkyard. The Department of Environmental Quality reported arsenic and benzene in the soil at the site of the tire conflagration, but said the levels found were not a concern. Stevens, Napoleon, and Wawner contend further soil testing should be done. The DEQ also tested neighboring wells but found no evidence of contamination.

A site inspection is scheduled for January 10. "If the property is not in compliance," Catlin promises, "we will have an action plan for enforcement."

Doris Gardner declines comment about the cleanup and her neighbors' concerns. "Why do you keep writing about this?" she asks. "It's none of your business. It's none of their business. We are working with the county."

She also adds a cautionary note, "We have an attorney in Northern Virginia. We're going to sue everyone."

57 comments

Leaveyourneighbors-- I don't live anywhere near Cismont, and am selling no property. And while I realize it might be hard for you to understand two concepts at once, I'll explain it again. It is 1) an eyesore, AND 2) an environmental hazard.

If people are trespassing on your land with their horses and it bothers you, then you absolutely have the right to speak to them about it. That's what neighbors do. If the smell of horse s**t is bothering you, then perhaps they can do something about that as well, irregardless of zoning. If they're reasonable, they'll work with you. But you're quite lucky that you don't live next door to the Gardners. They would probably own no horses, but be trucking in massive quantities of horse s**t to their property for decades. Wouldn't that be nice for you, hm?

Linda-- it's trash and burning tires crapping up the joint, not art. Now a person could possibly create artworks out of it, but currently it's just a big old mess generated by a pack of lazy selfish people. And what kind of people turn their home into a dumpsite? Why, trashy people, of course.

Mr. Gardner,
Chill out. I'd say if everyone did what you've done because God gave them the right to pollute this world would be pretty fitlhy.
Do you agree? I dont know you personally but trash is trash. Rodents love that stuff and it is an eyesore...similar to some of the crap they call Art-in-Place. Perhaps if you paint some of your "art" others would not be as offended!
As for the county, they were sleeping at the wheel again hoping this would go away.

I just read an article that said that the County filed suit against them today...........

Now, I live close to this area and have never personally seen this properly however....

I think that the same rules apply that apply to a child. You cannot try and punish someone after the fact, especially after you've allowed it!

Again, I have not seen the property and this is only my opinion

Doolittle, in answer to your question: As I have heard, the objective of the neighborhood is for the county to follow through on public promises to mandate clean up to a pre-dump condition.
Any county-court imposed actions or fines would be a separate issue,as far as we understand. There will be the firm expectation-from community, for the landowner to remove debris and repair the land.

Hey Dolittle,
Again, you don't say your name. My name is Chris Gardner! I have lived in Cismint Va my entire life. I wonder what the service station down the road did with OIL that he/she removed from all the cars and trucks he/she serviced over many years?? Since all this has happened I'm curious??? Since we are going too dig up old bones lets start with you!!!!

Hey this is Mrs Chris Gardner,
For your last comment regarding children and animals. Have you every spoken with a child that has been abused or has gone to bed hunrgy?? and also have you every taken in any aniaml that has no home or has been abused?? If you are so worried about these issues you should involve yourself in the commiunty helping others instead and bashing others that you no nothing about.....because if you worried more about your own life you would not have time to worry about others!!!!!!!

Kristina, I hope you don't teach your five year old how to spell grammer. It is GRAMMAR! You have no right to be critical of NO NO's spelling.
What do others think about the following question?: Why would the county risk losing, in filing a suit? They must believe they CAN win, as they move forward.

If it were my property I would get rid of all of the hazardous waste type products and label the rest art and let the county go F themselves..

Doolittle
Know I get it. You don't like what they have on there property because its a EYESORE we'll why didn't you say so instead of making it a environmental issue. You must be trying to sell your property. Too bad. I have neighbors with horses and I smell horse s... all the time but I can't make them get rid of them, they also ride them on MY property and being neighborly I don't make a fuss about it. And to me trash and metals are to differnt things and all the pictures I've seen show just METAL. My suggest to this family is to make a fence out of all the metal all around there property line and call it art and the county or YOU can't do a darn thing about it.

Leave Your Neighbors & One man's trash--

Well, trashy people just love trash, that's for sure.

The Gardners have, for whatever bizarre reason, been using their home property as a dump. Despite the fact that there are other people living adjacent to them, they willfully persisted in creating a huge mess and then decided that it's now everyone else's problem. Why do you not think it's their responsibility to clean up their own hideous crap heap? Why should the county do it? They didn't dump all that trash there!

Eventually SOMEONE was going to have to clean up this eyesore. The responsibility should rest solely on the people who allowed this to happen in what is otherwise a nice neighborhood. Are they blind? Did they never notice that nobody else had a 5-acre dump site and burning melting tires on their property?

At least the Gardner's neighbors-- the ones you would probably deem nosy troublemakers- have some respect for the safety and welfare of the people living around them and the environment.

Let us know where you live, and perhaps we can arrange for some of the trash to get dumped in your yard.

Leaveyourneighborsalone,
I'm just curious what you think about noise. Is dog barking something that is a person's right to impose on others? I am not talking about one dog but multiple dogs barking in open fields. Should barking dogs(noise pollution) be an acceptable form of pollution? Keep in mind dogs are introduced and not placed there by God or nature. I'd be curious to hear your stance. TIA

It seems to me that the only way to get this settled is to take it to court. I don't know a lot of deatils, only what I have read in the papers. From what I know about the law, the county is in a tough spot here. They made the mistake of originally grandfathering this situation. It seems like this would be a cake walk for the Gardners in court. My advise would be to stop clean-up and get a lawyer if they have not already done so. This would delay progress but it seems that neighbors aren't pleased with the progress anyway.

Lawn ornaments are mentioned a lot here. Since I live in the city, I see them all the time. I actually enjoy seeing art made out of different materials. If lawn ornaments are tastefully done, I would love to see them! It may even provide a great opporunity to involve college students in the planning/construction.

I wish the neighbors and the family the best of luck in solving this issue.

Just thought I'd let all the wonderful neighbors in Cismont know the Gardner's told the county to go .... we are keeping our art work. We will see you and the county in court in a few years. Happy New Year. LS

I love it when all these crybaby people settle into Albemarle County after deciding to build their little $400,000 or $500,000 retirement cottage here. Then start telling their neighbors who have lived here for 50 and 100 years to clean up their act or else!

And whoever suggested Catlin taking some of the garbage to her home, she has no yard in her $537,600 home in the city. Doesn't appear to have much back yard. And the front yard isn't big enough to set up a badminton court. So her helping much is out of the question.

I don't think beating up Dolittle is an answer. But I'll pay good money to watch! :)

Hey Doolittle,
Who the HELL do you think you are calling someone lazy and trashy? You don't know my family. What is your name? I guess you don't mind the state of Virginia hauling in hundreds of tons of trash each year from other states. Do YA? How about the fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals sprayed on farms, orchards and oh yeah the vineyards that every paper and magizine in this county seems to love. How about the chemicals that VDOT spray on the side of the roads to kill the weeds. And since you are such a HIGH class person, I imaged you live in one of those upscale neighborhoods with the pretty green grass and it's organic products that keep it that green. HA HA! You keep mentioning tires, since you have the internet why don't you see what other states do with them. They grind them up and resurface the roads with them. I guess in your world these hazardes products just magically disappear. They don't run off into the creeks, streams and rivers. NO!! My family has never once hindered the county, DEQ or any other agency that wanted to inspect our property. We have nothing to hind. Yet none of this has been stated in any article or news show that I've seen. I wonder why we won't respond to the media?? Real fair reporting huh? This whole thing has been a mountain made out of a mole hill due to a few nosy neighbors, with nothing better to do with there time. As soon as this is done they will be sticking their nose into someone elses business.

Hey Doolittle-- IF YOU EVER WANT TO CALL MY FAMILY OR I TRASHY OR LAZY AGAIN I'LL BE GLAD TO MEET YOU ANYTIME ANYWHERE AND YOU CAN THAT SAY TO MY FACE. DOOLITTLE WHAT IS YOUR REAL NAME?

Mr. Gardner.

Hey Doolittle,

Hey Doolittle,

Sorry for the late reply I was in the dump today. You had no reply to anything that I said, So I quess in your eyes it's still ok for the state of Va to bring in thousands of tons of trash each year from other states.
Just a few facts on land use. The farmer uses his land as he sees fit. In the process he uses human sludge, fertilezers, pestacides, and any other chemicals that he sees fit to use. The apple growers use any chemicals that help them grow apples and than we get to the vineyards in Albemarle County talk about a strain on the enviroment and for what reason??
Hey Doolittle give your name, so I can varify that your sob story is true.

stop makin funof me. wood you want sumone to make fun of you?have a hart.jus xpressen my opinyon.thets meen.you purfict?
why yall want thet junk? i herd thay will fine you an make you cleen the mess up to.i thenk yalls land wood be wurth more if you toss it now.you want the grancilren do it lator? thet aint nise.you gona git a purmit for resycling cinter?if not,you breaken more laws runnin a buisnes an thay wil wach an ketch you now. why dont you have a hors farm sted of a junk an tresh farm?you jus hurtin youself in my opinyon.cant undirstand you peple for doin it.
Yall all outta lissin to doo little.he is rite in evrey way.evreyboby sees hes rite but yall.lisen to hem.hes reel smart

No No-If you read my response I was not meaning for it to come across in a mean way or make fun of others. No, I am not perfect but I do value how my opinion comes across to others. Thus, I was hoping to make you aware of the fact that this is a serious issue and not one on a myspace blog.

Also, you have shared wonderful ideas with the family. I hope that they consider getting the correct permits required to recycle in mass quantity.

Again, good luck to the family and the neighbors in getting this issue solved.

i no it is serious an no joke.i cant help it i cant spell good.im jus kidden bout yall gitten a purmit.thet wil nevir git pased at countey caus niegbors wood have a fit. my frend woorked in won of them plases.they too loude an messy an make to much rakket. thet is hors contry out thier.now git over thet idear. thet dont make sence to noboby. peple reed this stuf. now the countey seen it and niegbors goin to countey bout it.the famly got nuff problims wiffout starten up more troble starten a bisness out thier.
what is a myspace blog?is it sumthin in the dump?you beter not start no bizness out thier.my opinyon

To all-
People are correct in saying this is a bad situation. I understand the neighbors and the family both feeling unjustly accused but NOT the county.

As I have said before, when this goes to court a lot is going to come out. It sounds like the family has documentation of what they were told to do by county employees, not to mention was has been quoted in the paper. To answer doolittle's question, from what I have heard the county does have some explaining to do! The family are actually the one's who told them (the county) to take it to court because they are aware of the mistakes made by the county.

Also, there is no need to comment on this response. I have given my opinion numerous times. Thus, I feel no need to keep repeating myself. I won't be responding to this blog anymore. Good luck to all.

Cvilleresidint.
Gud. the countee dun rong.leest thay admitten it.
dont souund like the famley thanks thay dun nothin rong frum what i reed. thay betar fess up.itz good for the conshence.evreyboby nos thay dun rong akcept you an them.

Wow, this brings up a huge concern. I can guarantee the neighborhood would never "go for" a recycling center or salvage yard in the heart of Cismont. In fact, such a thought or proposal is truly ridiculous. As the subjects have been and are in violation of the law, there is no chance the county will grant a permit. These types of operations exist in business corridors and not in protected areas such as this. NO NO is correct. Dream on and forget it. Thanks for letting us know about this. Doolittle, where are you? Help!

Cvilleresident-- I am not a resident of Cismont, or that area, and never have been. Know folks out there, but none of the neighbors involved.

When I referred to the neighbors being blamed, I was referencing the many bellicose comments from the Gardners, here and in articles, that basically said that their troubles with the dump were caused by their nosy neighbors. (Hence the obviously sarcastic comment I made above that asked if, in fact, the neighbors had actually been thrusting the junk on an unwilling Gardner family all this time.)

If you re-read the 2005 Hook article linked above, you'll see that this has been an incredibly long and drawn-out process for the neighbors. If the article is to be believed, the Gardners have been playing a cat & mouse game with the county and their neighbors for years. I dare say that the beleaguered neighbors are probably now wary that there won't be adequate follow-through from either the Gardners or the county.

Because of the Gardner's actions (and non-actions), the neighbors have been placed in the unfortunate and uncomfortable position of playing "neighborhood cop" for years now. I'm willing to bet that all of them would have preferred to have spent this now lost time pursuing other activities.

Would the neighbors be happy with a $5000 fine, and call it a day? I have no idea-- perhaps some of them will speak up regarding that. But if applause is going to be handed out, mine will go to the neighbors for everything they've had to put up with and all the work they've had to do to keep on top of this chronic situation. I spare none for the Gardners who created this problem in the first place, are cleaning up only under threat from the county, and are still casting blame on anyone who disagrees with them.

Please re-read the original article as it's very illustrative of how long this has been going on.
http://www.readthehook.com/Stories/2005/06/14/coverBurnBabyBurnFireSpark...

Dear Doolittle, Oh,what an elegant response. You are the type of person I would want as a neighbor. You have a conscience. You have class. You are a BIG person. Thank you!

Lets all have some panckaes and then go visit the new Albemarle Historical Salvage Museum in Cismont.

No No- not to be mean but this is not a myspace blog. Why would you address an adult audience with such slang language?

Doolittle and other former/current neigbors-It seems to me that the family is not blamming the neigbors and they were cleaning up the site. It was stated in the paper that all of the hazardous material was already taken care of. Family members have said that it was their mess and they are cleaning it up. I don't understand why people are still saying that the family is not and has never been cooperative. You would think that the neighbors would be much more upset at the county rather than the Gardners for giving warning after warning and not taking action years ago. It was said in early 2000 (I do not know the exact year) that this issue was grandfathered. Whether or not the "dump" continued to grow, these people (the Gardners) were under the impression that it was grandfathered. You must have some sympathy for this. This is a family who has been told one thing and was then told the opposite. Yet, they still tried to work with the county. I don't know the facts but I am sure the county tried to work with them because they knew it was their mistake and they also knew that with the right lawyer the Gardners could walk all over them in court.

I am curious, even if the Gardners paid a fine of 5,000+ would this be over for you? Does everyone understand that IF a fine is given this would be solved in the eyes of the county? Meaning you couldn't ask for any change from that point on.

In my opinion, neighbors should have atleast applauded the effort that was given in the clean-up effort. This could go on for years now. It seems that all effort for "environmental change" has yet again become an issue over money and fines due to local politics.

Leave,
If there are laws controlling dumps then they need to be enforced. This is not encroaching on anyone's rights, just enforcing zoning. Where is the problem other than the county has been blind for decades?

The law has been broken. Got it from THE HORSES MOUTH. NOT art, illegal trash and THOUSANDS burned tires

Mr Gardner- I apologize that I've upset you. You are correct, I've never met you or your family. Any opinions I've formed are based solely on your actions and the words written here by your family members. You are owed an explanation as to why I'm so exasperated with you. (And to set the record straight, sir: I'm poor and live simply. My grass is in pretty embarrassing condition. I use no chemicals on my yard. I have a rake, a broom, and a wheelbarrow, but no leafblower. I'm not a Yuppie.)

I don't think you have the slightest idea of what it's like to have to live on the other end, surrounded by someone else's trash. A man that owned a narrow strip of property next to my house was able to load it up with junk for many years. Like you, he felt he should be able to do anything he wanted with his land simply because it belonged to him, and to heck with anyone else. We were told by friends of his that he didn't like what he called "complainers"-- basically anyone that didn't think his junk was totally great. We were told that he would see to it that things would become very rough for us if we said a word about it to the zoning department. (In this particular case, what he was doing was a zoning violation.)

So we sucked it up, and year after year his property continued to degrade. Old vehicles up on blocks, leaking rusty barrels, rolls of wire, piles of rubble, etc. Our old place next door sure wasn't a showplace, but we took decent care of it because we care about ourselves, our neighbors, and the environment.

As things got worse, and more stuff piled up on this guy's lot, outsiders starting coming in and dumping too, all around the perimeters of both of our properties. I had to have all this stuff hauled away regularly at my own expense just to keep the worst of it at bay. It was pretty depressing looking at his place every day and having people ask us why there was all that junk next door. All this trouble for so many years because, literally, he "just didn't feel like" cleaning it up, and because he didn't think anyone had the right to say anything to him about his land. Anyone that disagreed with him had to be a "high-falutin' type" who thinks they're "too good" to look at a dump every day.

Eventually someone in the neighborhood turned him in and the county acted quickly. To his credit, he cleaned up everything covered under the zoning law the day before the county's deadline, and it's looked more or less fine ever since. I hear that, to this day, he thinks we were the ones that turned him in and he's still perplexed as to why anyone would want to tamper in what he considers his personal business. But what I don't understand is why he had to be forced by the county to clean up the mess. He had eyes, he could see it himself, why not act before it became everybody else's problem?

So yes, I'm afraid I have very little patience for people who do this. How can something like that go on for such a long time, and why does there have to be some sort of intervention before it gets cleaned up? And why do the neighbors have to be made out to be the bad guys in the process?

Mr Gardner, the county acted very stupidly in allowing you to continue running a dump on your land. I agree that they deserve their share of the blame and actually think that they should have paid for half of the clean-up. But ultimately, the choice was entirely yours. You continued to run a dump even though apparently you were aware that your neighbors were concerned about what it might be doing to your land and theirs. From the first day you allowed junk to be dumped there, you've always known this land would have to be cleaned up... some day, some way. What you created with your piles of burning tires goes beyond simple neighborhood spats about trimming bushes and the color of shutters. Your actions have had ramifications that extend beyond your property lines. No man is an island.

No No- don't blog if you don't know how to spell. My five year old writes better than that. She has better grammer too!

Doolittle-I agree with you in the fact that this problem has been long and drawn out. However, everyone must realize whether or not the owners continued collections intentionally, they were still told that this was grandfathered by a county employee.

I am simply trying to get the fact across that the county initially made the mistake here. First, they closed there eyes to this problem after numerous complaints, then they deemed the site grandfathered, then after the fire they told the family to clean up certain items (hazardous materials) and everything would be to their satisfaction, then they told them to continue clean up even after they cleaned up the hazardous materials.It seems as though they don't know what they want or how to address this problem.

I personally think that going to court is a good idea. This will allow citizens to know the critical mistakes THEIR county is making.

No No-You know well enough that a myspace blog is not something in the dump. Was that funny to you? Also, very smart in saying my opinion after saying, "you beter not start no bizness out thier." Some can and will take this as a threat. Also, I don't plan on starting any business out there because I don't live there. This should be easy to comprehend based on my responses and/or my name.

Doolittle and Cismont Friend you two need to get together and see how many people you can bash at one time and maybe just maybe you both will be happy for once in your lives. You two are the most negative people, I've read your comments and you have nothing nice to say about the family, the county or DEQ.

Cismont Friend, thanks for the insight. I hope that the community is able to obtain its goals regarding the dump, and that the county follows through. If there's any silver lining in this cloud, it might be that they will be more vigilant in the future and take community concerns more seriously.

Doolittle, thank you very much. I believe you are correct in every way. In fact, you are wonderful!

Cvilleresident, I agree with all you've said regarding the county's part in this mess. What is unclear is exactly what the county has or hasn't told the Gardners over the years regarding what needed to be cleaned up, and when. And were they told back when they started the dump (post 1969) that they didn't need a permit? Did they even apply for a permit? I assume there's some form of documentation regarding at least some of this in the form of letters from the county. Did the county send a letter saying that only hazardous materials should be cleaned up, and nothing more, ever? If so, then they've certainly got some explaining to do!

I think that the neighbors are justified in being extremely angry that the county has not responded adequately to their calls over the years. Not too surprising though when one considers the l'aissez faire attitude that the county has had in the past regarding matters in the boonies. From what I understand, in the past concerned citizens practically had to light a fire under the inspectors to get them out into the field to do their job. And even then, their attitude was that these issues were "country matters" and not really of any importance. Not to mention that it's a big county, there are only so many inspectors, and they can't be everywhere at once.

But, once again, the thing I find most disturbing has been the vilification of the neighbors. In one article they were blamed by either the Gardners or their sympathizers for not doing MORE to stop this. Then they turn around and accuse them of being nosy and not having enough to do with their time. Well, which is it to be?

The Gardners feel unjustly accused, the neighbors feel unjustly accused, and perhaps even the county feels unjustly accused (though that one's quite a stretch). Over all, a BAD situation.

your response Was Brilliant, so why hide behind the name doolittle? give your real name. and since you have never seen the property your talking about, if you give me a call i can arrange a tour. i'm in the book

no i think Gardner put trash there against the niebors will. gardner didnt care bout how thay felt.thet is silfish an bad.this family is stil makin excuses and eveyboby nos it. thay say it to TV an to newpapers. sad sad sad
makes em look like thay aint sorry an thay aint actin rite.

Doolittle, It's our art and don't you worry your pretty little head about it. And who do you think you are calling someone trashy you don't know me or my family. Why don't you give your real name doolittle are you scared. Because you are one of the noisy/hateful/spiteful/full of s.../ neighbors that's why and want to hide behind doolittle. Yours truly, Linda Shifflett

Someone said, "Despite the fact that there are other people living adjacent to them, they willfully persisted in creating a huge mess and then decided that it's now everyone else's problem. Why do you not think it's their responsibility to clean up their own hideous crap heap? Why should the county do it?"

Really shouldn't it say that despite the fact that people created a huge mess, neighbors continued to allow this to continue. In other words, they were not persistent enough back then to get this problem taken care of. The county is at fault because it originally labeled the site grandfathered.

Why are the land owners being blammed for the county's mistake? This should have never fell on the hands of the land owners to begin with. If neghbors complain, let them complain. Stop any clean up in process and take it to court.

It is wonderful that everyone has the opportunity to respond to this article but calling someone's family lazy, selfish, trashy is not acceptable. If people can't control language and get this heated, they should keep their mouth shut. I think The Hook should print some of these responses and let the community know how personal some people are taking this. Not to mention how inappropriate people are being towards others.

Gardner Family-Good luck in court. Be sure to do extensive research on grandfathered cases such as this one. Hands down-county in responsible.

Sorry your in the dumps.Thets bad
boy, tell thes people you sorry for what happen. you dont seem sorry
quit makin exquses. doolittle's smart. lisen to him!

Dear Chris- when you wrote as "Mr Gardner" I think we all assumed you were the dump's owner, a Mr Cecil Gardner. Well hello then, Chris. How was the dump today? It was nice weather to be outside, yes?

Chris, I have no earthly idea how you can take my lack of support for your family enterprise, and somehow extract from that the conclusion that I encourage or condone the use of pesticides, the importation of trash, sludge as fertilizer, etc... because I do not, sir! Perhaps you will share with those of us not clever enough to keep up with your rapid-fire thought process, how this particular logic trail works? To save you the trouble the next time you're in an extrapolatin' mood, I stand hard and fast against the following as well: Bullies who pick on children and animals, the war in Iraq, sullen teens, people that litter, and most luncheon meats.

My junkyard story was absolutely true, although there was no intention to bring you to the point of tears. I regret that it made you sob, but am touched that you were so moved.
-Doolittle (Luceo non Uro)

Turn it into a soccer field!!

I have no idea, Cismont Friend. I imagine the county feels they can win, but then I'm sure the Gardner's lawyers have told them that they will prevail instead. As I mentioned before, it's probably all about the county's documentation, as I doubt they'd risk a suit without it. You can view the zoning folder(s) on that parcel, or do a FOIA. It's public record.

If the goal is to no longer have this illegal dump in Cismont, then however that comes about is fine, be it voluntary clean-up (which the Gardners have ceased) or a lawsuit. At any rate, based on what we've heard thus far, this will certainly be one of the more entertaining trials 'round these parts in recent history.

Mr. Gardner- Just so you know, due to the language that Doolittle has used towards your family. You will be able to find out who doolittle is in regard to the email address that is required to be provided. You have probable cause to obtain this information. Good luck in dealing with this situation.

Fondly,
Conserned 1 (Legal assistance is available upon request)

Freedom of speech is so wonderful. So are rights (including property rights). Many forget that "rights" go hand in hand with responsibilities. If the issue was just about concern for the Gardners health, safety, and general well-being it would not seems so arrogantly controlling. If they have broken laws, prosecute. If they have not, leave them alone! They only have a responsibility to obey the same laws as thes rest of us and to associate only with those that truly "know" them. I personally choose not to be any where near Cis(tern)mont. There are plenty of other ¢Ã¢â??¬Ã?â??hidden¢Ã¢â??¬ art colonies in and area the greater C'Ville area¢Ã¢â??¬Š so if y'all want a crusade, you'd better get started early every day and work at it until way after dark. Leave the Gardners and the kinfolk alone they have enough trouble getting through all that art work as it is¢Ã¢â??¬Š then again perhaps you can give them more to treasure. Good luck it court!

Doolittle, Your response was brilliant, as usual. Would you be willing to also post the same reply on the most recent HOOK site-dump? Thank you

Sounds to me that the family are working with the county and doing what they ask so why do the neighbors have such hard feelings. The Gardner's have been there alot longer than the neighbors and this has been going on then WHY did you buy property beside them? And DEQ has tested and NOTHING is contaminated which I cant believe metal and tires would contaminated anything if so we are all better stop driving cars. I agaree with Perry Mason they need to put it all around there property and consider it art or make a fence out of it, that's not against any law. And what would the neighbors have the county do put this elderely couple in Jail some neighbors they have. I'm glad I don't live in the "Un Neighborly" Cismont.

Perhaps Catlin wouldn't mind if the 10% remaining trash is brought to her house until it finds a permanent home. To accept anything but 100% cleanup shows tolerance to those who abuse the law.

It sounds like another committee needs to be formed to study the "action plan for enforcement". LOL

The county ALLOWED this property to be zoned a dump for nearly 30 years even AFTER they were asked. Let the county clean it up at the counties expense. Maybe they could make an insurance claim since it was the counties NEGLIGENCE that caused the problem in the first place.

Suppose they decide 30 years later that ACAC is not zoned for a "gym". Do you think that they would get away with a forced closure of that ongoing business?

The county needs to PAY for it's own mistake and I am sure that is why they are being patient. They would get GRILLED in court.

I suppose next the people near the airport are going to complain about the noise.

Thankfully, my bones aren't ancient enough to require any digging, so let's turn this back to you. :-)

Chris, I have no esoteric knowledge of any service stations in "Cismint"-- much less ones that are disposing of oil in ways that are distressing to you. Since you DO know about it however, and are curious about this topic, I have every faith that you will follow through on this one yourself.

Mrs Gardner, I see that we possibly share a passion for helping children and animals in need. The answer to both of your questions is an unequivocal yes-- many many times.

I was wondering, are you worried about the county's lawsuit? And if the county decided to withdraw their suit, how long do you think it would take you to clean up the dump? Do you send it off to be recycled (like to a scrap metal place), or what? The article wasn't clear on where all the stuff goes.

Doolittle,

If the "articles" still present on the property pose no evironmental risk then the rest of the world should MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS!!!!

I'ts too bad it's only 16 acres and not 21 so they could designate as a farm and fill the property with hundreds of "farm use" implements and trailers full of junk metal. After all, in the eyes of the law the only difference between junk and trash is often organization of the articles in question.

Like someone else said earlier, there isn't a farm in the county that doesn't have a trash pile. Hell, call UVA and they will send a field trip out to "examine" the historic area.

Doolittle,
To answer your comments. Passinate people do not judge others, however it sounds from your comments that you have wrote concerning my family you (Doolittle) judge others with no remorse.. I have been part of this family for 11 years and YES, Cecil Garnder does recycle all materials in the proper places, which you would not know anything about because you did not ask nor did you care to ask. You just wanted to judge first... Mr. Cecil Gardner is the most given, kind hearted man I have every known!! I have known Mr. Cecil Gardner to give to people less furnate them himself taking from himself and never thinking about himself just others, but of course you would not that because you would disgrace Mr. Cecil Gardner, and the rest of his family due to the lack of ability to understand want a passinate person does or has the ability to do for others.
Diane Gardner

Chris i betcha that man at the gAS Stashun in cismint was nice to everone.he fix there car and wadnt tryin to hide nothin.people runnin dumps makes money and keeps it all thamself. that aint helpen nobody in the town but thamself an there own family. thay trashd there own land and ruins the land valuue around em to. thet is plan selfish. now boy what I see missen here is you to stuborn to admit runnin thet dump was bad. Fes up and be a man bout it. Yalls famly done a bad thing an you are smart nough to no it. i thnk doolitle is nise an he is honest. he nos rite from wrong. i thnik it was bad thet othar people dump on yeor property.Why dont you report em. thay dont care bout noboby. it aint all your falt.

Diane-
If you'd re-read my post above, you'll see that I did ask about recycling, so please don't claim that I didn't.

And as far as your bizarre comment is concerned- "Passinate people do not judge others..."- well, uh, wow. Okey dokey.

To your neighbors in Cismont, I offer my heartfelt condolences.

-Doolittle (Luceo non Uro)

Max Factor why you so mad? why you want to trash yer own proptey and make it look trashey. thet dont make good sence to me. heve sum pride.no wunder the nieborhood is upset. why you want to keep all that junk enyway? you cant run no more busness to sell that stuff no more. its gainst the law when you aint got no purmit. them people gonna wach so my advise git rid of it.i woodnt want my niebors to thnk i love trash. get over it, let thet junk go.

Max Factor, were you aware that there were two serious fires on the property involving the junk in question? Perhaps that might have had something to do with why people became alarmed about the situation.

Regarding the zoning issue-- if junkyards were not allowed usage after 1969, and the Gardners started their dump after that date, then why are they crying now? According to the records, they've been warned repeatedly by the county for years that they were in violation. Despite the warnings, the dump grew and grew. You'd think they'd be grateful that they got nothing more than warnings for so many years-- and do the honorable thing and clean up, now that the hammer has come down.

I still cannot fathom why they think this is their neighbors' fault. Did the neighbors put the junk there against the Gardners' will?