Chaska Residents Upset Over Proposed Land Waste Site on Arboretum Property

November 20, 2017 08:38 PM

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Carver County is always a popular spot, even this time of year. But now there's a new plan for the spot that's not sitting well with some neighbors.

The county is considering the creation of a yard waste disposal site on arboretum property -- property that's just across the road from homes.


For some residents along 82nd street in Chaska, front windows look out over the arboretum. 

"The nature and beauty is why we chose it," said Karen Conkey, who has lived in her home for 11 years. But if the county approves a new waste site for yard debris, that would all change.

"I never in a million years would think I'd see even a house," said Dan Conkey, Karen's husband. "It's arboretum property, never to be built upon, let alone they'd put in a landfill dump."

Neighbors have concerns with noise from equipment necessary to move debris and chip up trees, yard pesticides they fear could leak into the groundwater, and traffic.

"Eight-thousand cars will be added to our road, with slight dust control already ... it will be unbearable," Karen Conkey said. "I'm just very emotional about it."    

There is already an environmental center that takes recyclables and yard waste, but the county says it's become too busy.

"We know in order to improve safety, reduce traffic issues and improve customer service, we want a new site that's exclusive to yard waste," Assistant Carvery County Administrator Tom Vellenga said.

While other county sites were vetted, Vellenga says the land the arboretum is letting the county use is the best, at least indefinitely.
Neighbors couldn't disagree more.

"That's one of the reasons why we moved out here," said Nancy Gay, who has lived in the area for more than 20 years. "The arboretum who owns all the property, nothing would be built on it. I just can't believe it."

The site was discussed a year ago. Neighbors fought it then, and say they had hoped the message was heard.

The county says that if the site is approved, crews would put up evergreens and a berm to block the site.

The county's decision could come in the next two months.


Jessica Miles

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