Southeastern PA

End in sight for Mountain Mulch controversy?

DOUGLASS TWP., Pa. - Persistence is certainly a virtue for Karen Kesier and many other Douglass Township, Montgomery County residents.

For more than a year they've been fighting against Mountain Mulch.

Late last year neighborhood residents and the township sued the company over what they claim are zoning violations on preserved farmland.

The state also launched an investigation.

"Can't open our windows because of the noise, dust and smell," Keiser said.

Mountain Mulch moved onto the 53-acre preserved farmland off of Sassamansville Road in May of 2012.

In December we spoke to neighbors.

"This is a big commercial operation and made a mockery of farmland preservation," neighbor Louis Farrell told us.

A website was made, photos of the massive operation were captured and tallies of constant truck traffic were tracked.

The huge mulch piles even spontaneously caught on fire over the summer.

"In our case we didn't have choice. Fight it or live with it," Keiser said.

Persistence may prove to pay off.

The township and a civil attorney said an agreement is in place that would have Mountain Mulch leaving the property by December.

"That would be better than Christmas," Keiser went on to say.

The company said it couldn't talk about the settlement because it's not officially signed, but the general manager did say if they do leave, it's because it's in the best interest for everyone involved.

Under the state's farmland preservation act, the land can be used for agricultural production.

Even with a move, Mountain Mulch's attorney said the company would still own the property.

An agreement is expected to be finalized within the next week.

"To know there's an end in sight would be wonderful," Keiser said.

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