ALBANY, Ore. (AP) -- A Linn County official has ordered a halt to operations at a log transfer yard that was a lumber mill 70 years ago, sat idle for decades and then got busy in October loading timber on rail cars.
Residents have complained about noise, the early hours, and hazards for schoolchildren.
"It's my conclusion that this is a heavy industrial use and should not take place in the middle of a rural residential community," said County Planning Director Robert Wheeldon.
Trucks hauling logs from private timberland deliver their cargo bound for export to the yard at Crabtree for reloading onto rail cars, The Albany Democrat-Herald reported (http://bit.ly/W75rIk ).
The yard east of Albany created about 30 jobs in Linn County and in Rainier, where its operator, Teevin Bros., has headquarters.
The Albany & Eastern Railroad disputed Wheeldon's conclusions, saying the yard can operate as long as an appeal is filed on time in January.
"Contrary to the director's interpretation and the opinion of some of the county commissioners, the Albany & Eastern Railroad believes we are operating within our jurisdiction," railroad spokesman Jared Cornell said. "We believe we have until Jan. 3 to appeal."
After community meetings to air concerns about the operation, the railroad, through the Portland law firm Perkins Coie, had asked the county for a code interpretation.
The appeal would be heard by the board of commissioners.
"It's unfortunate that the parties involved didn't go through the permitting process prior to beginning operations," said Roger Nyquist, the board chairman.
Information from: Albany Democrat-Herald, http://www.dhonline.com
Copyright 2012 The AP.