The court said the ruling does not open the door to a landfill.
By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
HUBBARD — Those fighting to keep a construction and demolition debris landfill from opening in the township have been dealt another blow in court.
The 11th District Court of Appeals has agreed with a July decision from Trumbull County Common Pleas Court stating that Trans Rail America Inc. can operate C&DD landfill under current zoning regulations.
The township had initially told Trans Rail officials that the property was zoned “light industrial” under a 1983 zoning amendment and therefore could not be used as a landfill. The company took the matter to court.
Judge Wyatt McKay of common pleas court said Trans Rail America’s 243-acre property at 6415 Mount Everett Road is properly classified as industrial.
Township officials appealed that decision, arguing that the court erred in determining the property is zoned industrial and saying the court usurped the township officials’ authority by determining that a C&DD landfill would be an acceptable use of the property.
The appeals court rejected both township arguments, saying the 1983 zoning amendment proposal was never enacted by subsequent legislation of the zoning board and no notice or meeting was held either by the zoning commission or the board as required by law.
The appellate court, in its ruling, did make clear that the court is not opening the door for the creation of the landfill.
“We stress that nothing in this opinion or in the judgment of the trial court grants Trans Rail carte blanche to begin operating a C&DD facility as the dissent would suggest,” the ruling said. “Accordingly, before the proposed C&DD facility can begin operation, Trans Rail must submit itself to the proper licensing and regulatory authorities.”
Judge Diane V. Grendell agreed with the industrial classification finding of the court, but dissented from the other opinion concerning the court usurping township officials’ authority concerning the landfill.
“I believe that the trial court exceeded its authority by declaring that a C&DD facility would be permitted on a property zoned ‘industrial,’ since there was no evidence that the court examined the applicable zoning regulation before making its decision,” she wrote.