LaCrosse wood recycling business wins code appeal

eda recently assisted Wood Resource Recovery in securing Special Exception approval by the Alachua County Commission for their facility located on State Road 121, north of Gainesville, Florida. We’ve posted The Gainesville Sun article reporting the story. Wood Resource Recovery is a major employer in Alachua County and eda is proud to have them as a client.


A wood recycling business in LaCrosse successfully petitioned for an exception after it found itself in violation of the county’s codes.

Wood Resource Recovery made its case in front of the Alachua County Planning Commission last month for the county to create a special classification for the business with different regulations to bring it up to code.

The central issue is a warehouse that does not meet the requirement to be at least 75 feet away from the boundary of the site, said Clay Sweger, of engineering firm Eng Denman and Associates, which was hired by Wood Resource Recovery owner William Gaston to represent it in dealings with the county.

County planning staff recommended approval of the petition at a July meeting.

The site has been operating under a 1997 special use permit. At the time, applicants could request a special use permit for any purpose that wasn’t specifically mentioned in the county’s code, said Mehdi Benkhatar, a county planner.

That is no longer the case, however. A text amendment to the code has since created a specific use for wood processing facilities.

During a visit in October 2013, inspectors found Wood Resource Recovery in violation of county code, Benkhatar said.

The business is requesting the exemption allow the warehouse to only be required to be 50 feet from the boundary of the site.

The building was built in 2001, after the code had changed, but an oversight allowed it to be approved based of the old rules, Benkhatar said, meaning it cannot be grandfathered in.

The Alachua County Commission voted unanimously in favor of granting the business an exception at its Aug. 12 meeting.

Wood Resource Recovery is related to William Gaston’s landscaping and tree-removal businesses. It processes wood into mulch for sale and also supplies biomass to the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center.