Landfill rules passed despite owner's protest

The County Council last night approved an ordinance that sets up regulations for private landfills that accept non-hazardous rubble, much to the dismay of a Crownsville resident who says the legislation is aimed at him.

Robert E. Gertz told the council that the ordinance -- technically called an interim ordinance -- is part of a campaign being waged by the county to prevent him from building a horse farm. He wants the rubble to fill ravines on the property.


"This bill was aimed at me to stop me," Mr. Gertz said. He had been prevented from accepting rubble in July 1990 after the council passed a similar interim ordinance.

The ordinance passed last night remains in effect until Feb. 28, by which time the council is expected to have passed a permanent measure.


Mr. Gertz bought the 86-acre property near the intersections of St. Stephens and Chesterfield roads in 1977, with the intention of turning it into a horse-boarding farm. In the early 1980s, he began filling in the ravines on the property by charging haulers to dump tree stumps and brush from local construction sites.

The county said he was operating a landfill and was violating grading and filling ordinances. Mr. Gertz said he has been battling the county ever since. He has been to Circuit Court several times and has spent thousands of dollars in legal fees.

Under the legislation passed last night, Mr. Gertz cannot apply for a rubble landfill permit even if he wanted one: his farm falls below the 100-acre minimum size. And the measure states that once all the ravines are filled, a property is subject to a recreation or open-space easement, meaning the county can take the land and use it as a park.

In other business, the council approved a $44,580 appropriation to the county police that transfers money donated by business organizations to fund the Beat Cops Against Drug Trafficking program.