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Water Truck Service (WTS) has filed for a pre-application conference with the Portland Bureau of Development Services (BDS).

It is the first official step that WTS, a Sherwood-based septic pumper and wastewater treatment and disposal business located at 8828 NE Killingsworth, can take toward obtaining the required conditional use permit for their waste-related operation in Sumner neighborhood here in NE Portland. They have been operating illegally without the permit since spring 2010.

The pre-app conference date is set for Thursday, October 20, at 10:30 AM downtown at the main BDS office, 1900 SW 4th Avenue, 4th Floor, Room 4a. The meeting is open to the public, but neighborhood attendees can only observe and not participate.

WTS sign

Acording to the BDS notice, “The purpose of the conference is to provide information to the applicant to help them prepare a complete project proposal. Interested parties may attend, but the purpose is to provide information to the applicant.”

The official notice can be found on the BDS website. We have also posted a copy of the pre-app conference notice on our website (1.28 MB PDF).

In late July, based on neighborhood inquiry, BDS determined that WTS was operating a ‘waste-related’ business at 8828 NE Killingsworth. In late August, WTS was fined $500 for non-compliance with city land use laws because they had neither obtained nor applied for a conditional use permit. By filing for a pre-app conference — at a fee of about $3700 — they stop the clock on further non-compliance fines.

Any ‘waste-related’ operation requires a conditional use permit because of the impact on nearby land uses. In this case, nearby residents have been complaining for months about the odor of septage (the human waste pumped from septic tanks) trucked to the industrially zoned site bordering residential properties for unloading, processing and disposal.

Reps from BDS and the city Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) attended our Sept 20 neighborhood meeting to discuss WTS and their status. The owner of WTS, Bob Jonas of Sherwood, was contacted several times and also invited to attend, but never responded.

For more background about WTS and the issues there, see this previous article. For a video report by local TV reporter Ed Teachout on KGW, see their report.

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