The town of Ballston has put the Dolomite Products asphalt plant application on hold after the Town Board late last month adopted a new zoning law prohibiting heavy industry at its proposed site.
“It puts Dolomite as a prohibited use,” said town Building Inspector Thomas Johnson.
A town Planning Board’s public hearing on the project’s environmental impact — set for Oct. 30 — has been cancelled following adoption of the law.
Dolomite has already taken the town to court, and a hearing on an injunction that would prohibit enforcement of the new law is scheduled for Nov. 11.
“We continue to be prejudiced by the Town Board’s interference in the Planning Board process,” said Adam Schultz, an attorney for Dolomite.
Dolomite first applied for permission to build its hot-mix asphalt plant in the Curtis Industrial Park on Route 67 in 2011, leading to a significant controversy and opposition from nearby residents. That led to consideration of a law prohibiting heavy industry in the industrial park, though town officials said the law doesn’t target any applicant in particular.
Dolomite contends the environmental impact of its plant would be negligible away from the site, but local residents have expressed numerous concerns about traffic and other issues, including potential odors.
After the Town Board passed a similar law in 2013, Dolomite successfully sued the town. A state Supreme Court judge ruled against the town because of procedural errors in adopting the law. The town contends the procedural errors were corrected with passage of the new law Sept. 30 and the law will hold up in court this time.
“There are substantive as well as procedural defects in the law, just like there were in the old law, and we expect to prevail,” Schultz said.
Dolomite has already gone back to Supreme Court Justice Ann Crowell in Ballston Spa seeking a temporary restraining order against enforcement of the new law, but Crowell denied the request. She instead set a hearing for Nov. 11.
Meanwhile, the state Department of Environmental Conservation is taking public comment on an air discharge permit sought for the controversial plant. DEC has made a tentative determination to issue a 10-year Air State Facility permit for the proposed plant.
Public comments are being taken through Nov. 14 by contacting Beth A. Magee at DEC Region 5’s sub-office at 232 Golf Course Road, Warrensburg, NY 12885. Comments may also be emailed to [email protected]
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