Wilson Trucking Trying to Show Good Faith

Wilson Trucking Trying to Show Good Faith

When brothers William and Norman "Bray" Wilson and their mom Mary bought the old B&D Trucking site, on Route 29 in Centreville, a few years ago, they also inherited a slew of problems, plus some proffers that ran with the land.

Fairfax County had cited B&D for numerous violations — including having too many different kinds of businesses on the property, housing some operations not permitted there and not improving the businesses' unsightly appearance.

But the Wilsons are doing their best to change things. They've already eliminated some of the uses that weren't supposed to be there and put up a berm along their Route 29 frontage for improved aesthetics. Last Tuesday, Feb. 19, their attorney Steve Fox gave an update of their progress to the West Fairfax County Citizens Association (WFCCA) Land-Use Committee.

"I think my clients should be complimented in that they launched a campaign to [carry out the past proffers] and show a good-faith effort," he said. "They razed an old building, had an environmental study done and will do some required reforestation in the EQC [Environmental Quality Corridor] area."

Noting the property's "negative history" with the previous owners, Fox said the Wilsons are starting anew: "They are committed to it, long time, and will do what has to be done." He said they're considering this property as a "land resource" — an industrially zoned piece of land in an area needing the uses offered by Wilson Trucking.

It's on 12.5 acres at 15900 Lee Highway, not far from the Luck Stone Quarry, and the Wilsons want to amend the site's proffers to expand the company's uses. But it's also close to Bull Run Creek, so what happens on the Wilsons' site could potentially have environmental effects.

Initially, the Wilsons also hoped to obtain a special-exception permit to add a fleet fueling station for commercial vehicles, thereby keeping large trucks from going into Centreville for gas. But they've now deleted that request, said Fox, because "there's an extreme sensibility to it possibly doing something to the Bull Run watershed, so we gave up the fight."

He said the land has no public sewer and water — just a septic system and limited well-water capacity — so most of Wilson Trucking's uses are centered around the recycling of natural products, such as wood chips, plus storage and offices. The proffers also allow motor-freight companies, lumber yards and building materials including rock, sand and gravel.

Fox said the Wilsons thought of expanding the potential uses on site as a way of bringing in more revenue in today's uncertain economy. They could, for example, lease temporary staging space for pipe-laying and construction companies.

He said the environmental study discovered that, in the 1950s, there was a filling station on site, so the Wilsons have to see if the old fuel tanks are still there and, if so, remove them. "We think we're back on course," said Fox. "My clients aren't running away from this. They've really tried to be environmentally sensitive and also do what's good for the community."

He said some minor leaks were found at the joints of some pipes, so they'll be attended to to prevent soil contamination. And since Wilson doesn't currently have a hazardous-materials spillage policy, it will create one. "But on the whole, given the history of this site, the environmental-study report is good news," said Fox. "We'll resubmit this plan — deleting the special-exception for the fleet fueling station — along with the environmental report, to county staff."

WFCCA chairman Jim Katcham complimented the Wilsons on the berm, and WFCCA member Jim Hart said that obtaining the environmental study was a step in the right direction.

Fox said the Wilsons will need a proffered-condition amendment to add more trucks because they supply trucks to other contractors or suppliers. They currently have 53 of their own vehicles on site, plus 15 belonging to other businesses.

Judy Heisinger of the Bull Run Civic Association expressed concern about the increased intensity and said her neighborhood worries about safety issues and hazardous-materials containment. But Bray Wilson said trucks are serviced off-site and no gasoline reaches the ground when they're refueled.