B2G Compost does not need a fence to block the view of the facility, Okanogan County Hearing Examiner Dan Beardslee said in his decision on the appeal by B2G owner Kate Wynne. Beardslee issued his decision Aug. 30.
Wynne appealed a requirement from Okanogan County Planning for a sight-obscuring fence around the entire compost facility. The fence was necessary to shield the view from neighboring properties and to deter illegal dumping and vandalism, Okanogan County Planning Director Pete Palmer said.
Palmer failed to make a convincing argument that fencing is necessary to mitigate a substantial adverse environmental impact, and her concerns about illegal dumping are speculative and not supported by evidence, Beardslee wrote in his decision. Including a condition for fencing in the list of necessary mitigations “is unreasonable given the scope and scale of the project,” Beardslee wrote.
Beardslee visited the B2G facility, at the end of Horizon Flats Road outside Winthrop, before making his decision.
Although Beardslee eliminated all mitigations involving fencing — both for a locked bear fence and a chain-link or wooden sight-obscuring fence — Wynne said she intends to erect an electric bear fence around the area where she stores food scraps. She also plans to build a fence on one side of the compost facility to block the view from her neighbor. That fence will be locked at the entry to the composting area, Wynne said.
Wynne already has materials for the bear fence and hopes to be able to erect the fences before the ground freezes.
Wynne has been making compost by turning piles by hand, and has been refining her technique and recipe under B2G’s permit with the state Department of Ecology.
Wynne has produced compost and mulch this summer, making about 2 cubic yards every 10 days. In addition to produce scraps from restaurants and spent grain from breweries, B2G is now collecting residential compostables through a partnership with Methow Recycles. Last week, subscribers to the service dropped off 50 gallons of food scraps at the recycling center, Wynne said.
B2G installed three new aerated bays, which Wynne will start using once the fencing situation is resolved. The bins will streamline the process by maintaining the necessary temperature and moisture content, Wynne said. B2G intends to sell compost and mulch in the Methow Valley.
B2G Compost has submitted an application to Okanogan County to construct a dry-storage building for use during the winter.
People with standing can appeal Beardslee’s decision under the state Land Use Petition Act within 21 days of the legal notice, which was published Sept. 13.