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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court denies transfer in Porter County landfill case

The Munster (NW Indiana) Times reports today:

The Indiana Supreme Court has brought an end to plans to build a 354-acre landfill in Porter Township.

The court opted last week not to hear an appeal in the case, which leaves developers with no further options, according to attorney Debra Lynch Dubovich. She represents a group of opponents going by the name of Porter County Residents Opposed to Unhealthy Dumps or PROUD. * * *

The debate centered on a former county ordinance that allowed for landfills on agriculturally zoned land if a special exception was granted by the board of zoning appeals, she said. The BZA denied the request in this case and thus it never rose to the level of state review of the proposed landfill itself.

"It never got off of the zoning issue," Dubovich said.

The county since has revised its ordinances to limit landfills to industrially zoned land, she said. * * *

The developers had asked the Indiana Supreme Court to reverse the May state Appellate Court ruling that upheld the local rejection of the proposed landfill at County Roads 550 South and 250 West.

The Porter County Board of Zoning Appeals overstepped its powers and expertise when it rejected the proposed landfill in April 2002, Sechen said at the time.

The approach encroached upon the authority of the state and federal expert agencies charged with regulating landfills, according to the transfer request.

The petition filed by the Lake County Trust challenged the Appellate Court's ruling, which said Porter Superior Judge Bill Alexa was correct in upholding the BZA's rejection of the landfill.

For background, see this ILB entry from 5/24/04, quoting from an earlier NWI Times story that: "Porter Superior Judge Bill Alexa has upheld a decision by the county board of zoning appeals to reject a proposed 354-acre landfill in Porter Township."

[I'm having trouble finding the Court of Appeals ruling.]

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 20, 2005 09:02 AM
Posted to Environment | Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions