Balch Partner Patrick W. Krechowski successfully represented Sunshine Organics in its proceedings to secure land use and zoning approvals for the development of the first ever organic composting facility in Jacksonville, Florida. The proposed facility, owned by Compost Jax, will process source-separated, pre-consumer food waste to create organic compost and biochar. Once operational, the composting facility will offer an alternative to the typical solid waste facility and will produce organic compost for use by area landscaping companies and plant nurseries. The project will also include a community garden that will provide a place for an under-served community to grow and harvest organic fruits and vegetables.
Patrick assisted Sunshine Organics as it sought approvals from the City of Jacksonville’s Planning and Development Department which required both a land use amendment and re-zoning. Given the unique nature of the project and its location, Patrick led a concerted government affairs and community engagement effort to educate City staff, elected officials and community leaders on the project’s operations and beneficial impacts. For example, this project is expected to reduce the amount of food waste being transported cross-county to the municipal solid waste facility and will satisfy strong demand for sustainable organic compost material. Additionally, the community garden will provide a space to grow low-cost, fresh fruits and vegetables for people without space to garden at home, while providing a place for children to explore nature in the middle of urban areas.
The Compost Jax facility is expected to be operational by the end of 2021.