Conservationist Arrested for Protesting Paving

Woolen Mills resident Louis Schultz was arrested last week after lying down in front of a paver in an effort to stop what he argues is an illegal paving. His neighbor on Steephill Street hired a private crew to come in and pave the city-owned road. Schultz has no desire to have the road paved, and was concerned that the paving would lead to pollution of the stream in his yard. More important, it’s in no way clear that an individual can take it upon themselves to substantially alter public property in such a manner. Lisa Provence has the story in The Hook, and don’t miss Jen Fariello’s hi-larious photos of the goings on.

Disclaimer: Louis is a long-time friend. For that matter, I’ve known Jen and Lisa for a long time, too…I don’t know why I bother with these disclaimers. It’s a small town. We all know that now.

20 Responses to “Conservationist Arrested for Protesting Paving”


  • Property rights holy… Environmentalists bad… Schultz holy… Schultz bad… Does. Not. Compute.

    *head explodes*

  • just the mention of the word ‘paving’ in this area, everyone in this area reverts back to their hippie ’60s tree hugging sit in self.

  • I’m confused about Shultz from the news reports because it comes down to definitions.

    First he wanted to let his "natural habitat" and "native wildflowers" grow, but the neighbors called them "weeds" and the city made him cut them. Either his neighbors had this idea that only manicured lawns are acceptable, or his yard was a pure mess.

    Then he wanted to have a "compost pile", but the neighbors called it a "garbage heap". Either the neighbors are overly sensitive and intrusive, or he has no idea how to build a compost pile so that it doesn’t attract rodents or smell.

    I think it is hard to tell which case is true just from the media reports.

  • First he wanted to let his “natural habitat” and “native wildflowers” grow, but the neighbors called them “weeds” and the city made him cut them. Either his neighbors had this idea that only manicured lawns are acceptable, or his yard was a pure mess.

    Then he wanted to have a “compost pile”, but the neighbors called it a “garbage heap”. Either the neighbors are overly sensitive and intrusive, or he has no idea how to build a compost pile so that it doesn’t attract rodents or smell.

    Eh, I don’t know that it has to be one or the other. His backyard, a stream-fed mini-wetland, might look pretty unruly to somebody who believes that yards should be flat, green, with grasses no taller than 2″-3″ and anything taller clumped together, like flowers and bushes. A compost pile could be a bit alarming-seeming without getting stinky or attracting pests, in that it looks like a compost pile.

    I figure the truth probably lies in there somewhere.

  • Yeah I totally agree with you! First the Meadowcreek parkway …oh no we might make some use of the ugly park-space that no one uses ( a narrow strip of land at that)… Then there’s the 29 area north of wal mart.. lets just wait another few more years until there’s total gridlock before we widen the road… And then there’s Pan Tops, where do we start (well on pantops where you start is generally where you stay for a few minutes because of the horrible traffic) here’s the county’s logic..lets encourage tons of growth but no need for the transportation infrastructure… the city is a joke as well they choose to ignore their traffic problems and just complain about the way the county’s trying to fix theirs( "the county always widens roads and overdevelopes them") ha at leasts theyre doing SOMETHING city!

    as you some of you may know I am a strong advocate of road improvements right away without all of this bueracratic stuff.

  • as you some of you may know I am a strong advocate of road improvements right away without all of this bueracratic stuff.

    Yes, that sounds good in the abstract, but “all of this bureaucratic stuff” exists for a reason. It’s not bureaucracy for the sake of bureaucracy. :)

    Imagine, for instance, if this individual hired a company that used tar that was too thin, and leached into the soil and polluted the nearby stream. Who pays for that extremely-expensive cleanup? The city? The guy who paid for the paving? The paving company? The landowner, Louis, who was arrested for trying to stop the paving? Or imagine that it was sealed improperly, allowing water to run under the asphalt and create a sinkhole. Somebody discovers it when their car falls into it, killing the occupant. Oh, shit — now what?

    It is for these very reasons that VDOT has strict standards applied to road construction, standards generally shared with the rest of the nation, a result of some 50 years of highway construction. Public roads are owned by the public, maintained with public dollars, and conform to public standards, ensuring not only safe, long-lasting roads, but also sticking within established legal channels, making the whole process much less of a legal quagmire.

  • reminds me of that Suncom guy i believe, wasn’t there a guy who wanted to paved his road on his own land with his own money. And everyone got up and arms trying to fight it saying ‘if you didn’t want to experiance the country living you shouldn’t have move out here’. HELLLO

  • It’s funny, I thought we agreed, until I realized that your "HELLLO" means exactly the opposite of what I’d mean. :)

  • I think the subtlety is lost on me. Is Iamdaman3 saying he thinks anyone should be allowed to pave any public road he wants, or not?

    In particular, does he say that both these cases are the same, that paving Blenheim Rd against the will of his neighbors is the same as paving the Woolen Mills road against the will of the neighbor?

  • what i am saying is that if I owned a big plot of land and had a dirt road that I wanted to pave. And I had the MONEY to do that, WTF can someone come along and tell me WITHIN THE LAWS OF MAN tell me that I couldn’t because it would hurt their country living because I am paving my own dirt road.

    People are too tight ass in this area sometimes. As for the dude in the forefront of this thread, I am pretty sure he got a permit or something that ALLOW him to pave. Just because some nut is worried about his steam everyone has to suffer.

    What the heck is people have this hard on for steams in this area. NO we can’t build the bypass or MCP because it might damage our water supply. PLEASE, do you think top the people who develop this say "HEY I GOT AN IDEA HOW TO ROYAL F*CK OVER THE PEOPLE IN THIS AREA".

    sorry I am ranting again :P

  • Asphalt is ALWAYS laid by private companies. So why would it matter who paid them?

    http://www.deq.state.va.us/osba/indsect.html#asph

    In Virginia, any company doing asphalt paving must have a permit, and meet air-quality guidelines.

    Apparently there is no such thing as "thin tar" that somehow auto-magically becomes water soluble and flows into our streams. Or at least, if there is, VA has no regulations about it.

    Now, I’m not saying that it’s acceptable for a private citizen to pave public property. But I am saying that there is no difference in the method used to lay the asphalt. Same company, same technique.

  • what i am saying is that if I owned a big plot of land and had a dirt road that I wanted to pave. And I had the MONEY to do that, WTF can someone come along and tell me WITHIN THE LAWS OF MAN tell me that I couldn’t because it would hurt their country living because I am paving my own dirt road.

    Ah, that’s just it — in both this case and Blenheim, they’re public roads. No permit.

  • Asphalt is ALWAYS laid by private companies. So why would it matter who paid them?

    It’d matter plenty. I can make a website that meets federal guidelines for accessibility, but it can still be total shit. Somebody wants to pay me $10/hour, sure, I’ll make ’em a $10/hour website. The state wants to pay me $200/hour, I’ll make ’em a $200/hour website.

    You ever seen a badly-asphalted driveway? It looks like hell. Thin patches, it crumbles apart, develops potholes, there’s tar all over the grass… It’s lame. There’s ample opportunity for trouble, too. When starting with straight-run asphalt, they have to cut it (with benzene, dioxane, or toluene — all terribly poisonous stuff), and the fumes from that or any runoff can be extremely dangerous. There’s risk of explosion if it’s installed incompetently.

    With VDOT’s ridiculous costs for building a road, I don’t think they’re cutting corners. I don’t know Louis’ neighbor, but I’m guessing his budget’s not so high.

  • A funny thing happened today while I was eating lunch with friends… Two were from here and Charlottesville and one was from Lynchburg and the other from Northern VA… We began teasing each other about how Charlottesville is a great place to live when we suddenly got to the issue of traffic… I said well at least we dont have that horrible traffic of northern va… The two (one from lynchburg and other from northern va) looked at each other and said YEAH RIGHT!… what’s the city coming to when people from Lynchburg and especially northern va are talking about how bad OUR traffic is…. just thought it was a funny note

  • So the idea is that he paid them to lay a thinner layer of asphault? Perhaps thats true, but I doubt they’d screw up their mix (probably violating air quality laws in the process) just because he paid less. They’d loose their license if they did.

    I’m not a chemist, but I believe that solvents like benzene and toluene evaporate into a gas at normal atmospheric pressure and temp. Dioxin doesn’t evaporate readily, but its not soluble in water, so it will bond with the soil right where it was placed, and wont wash out. Perhaps thats why this is a matter of air quality and not water/soil quality?

    I cant find anything on google about water or soil pollution and asphalt. Plenty about air pollution. But you’re right, thats some seriously toxic shit!

  • cant find anything on google about water or soil pollution and asphalt.

    When hiking the AT in ’96, I remember one town in SW VA (or maybe northern NC/TN?) that was built on the lowest edge of a mountain, such that the whole thing was built on a slight angle, for a charming sort of an effect. They’d paved the hell out of the town, with no dirt roads to be seen, lots of oversized parking lots, the roads meeting highway specs but rated for 25mph — the usual crappy, over-engineered roads that we have in the country today. It had just poured like a beast the night before, but it had pretty much dried out for my hike into the town. The town stop was unremarkable, until I passed through and got to the base of the mountain. The lower end of the town had been reduced to a swamp from the rain. The rain had washed down the mountain and, once it hit town, there was virtually no soil into which it could be absorbed, and it finally collected in the streets and yards at the end of town. I can only assume that the value of property is terrible down there, since this must happen every time that they get a good rain.

    The mere existence of asphalt on a surface drastically increases runoff and pollution. It’s a non-permeable surface that collects the drippings from cars (oil, gas, leaking fluids, etc.) and rainwater, washing it off en masse — in Louis’ case, right into his stream and mini-wetland.

  • What you’re talking about has nothing to do with the actual process of applying asphalt. You were saying its ok when the state pays for asphalt, but not ok when a private citizen pays for it. Now you’re telling me asphalt is bad no matter who pays for it and we should all ride bicycles and live in tents or something like that. Put the granola down and step away slowly!

    Now, how would a dirt or gravel road prevent any of that oil/gas from reaching his stream? I’ve got a gravel driveway, and every time it rains it turns into a river. Any oil/gas that is in the gravel floats to the top once it is saturated with water, and flows down with the rainwater.

    Cars are going to produce pollution no matter what they drive on. That pollution is going to go SOMEWHERE. Something in my gut tells me that this guy owns and operates a car. What a ***** hypocrite.

  • What the heck is people have this hard on for steams in this area. NO we can’t build the bypass or MCP because it might damage our water supply.

    Wow, it’s this kind of thinking that just blows my mind. People who are more concerned with rapidly and disconcertedly building a ROAD, something for a piece of machinery, than being worried about our water supply, a necessity for our survival. When we finally figure out how to cheaply desalinate the ocean then maybe I will listen to your crap. Yes, Charlottesville has traffic issues but we also have water supply problems and damaging a stream in one area damages it from that point on. That’s why it’s called "downstream".

  • explain to me our water supply problems? Please convert me into the age of peace and liking nature. I want to change my evil ways of driving in my car. I should walk to my work which is a good 10 miles. I can’t carpool nor is there a Charlottesville Bus anywhere. Though it is funny seeing like 2 or 3 people on there and that is the most people I ever saw.

    Help me I need to change my evil ways.

  • I figure the truth probably lies in there somewhere.

    Why? Have you been there? How do you figure? Because what? If you haven’t gone there to check, then maybe we should all shut-the-f#$%k up, because everything “lies in there somewhere”.

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