The asphalt company involved in a long-running dispute with the town of Ballston over a proposed asphalt plant has sued the town in federal court.
Dolomite Products Co. is claiming violations of its civil rights by the town, the Town Board and Councilman William Goslin, contending the company has a right under town zoning regulations to build a controversial hot-mix asphalt plant in the Curtis Lumber Industrial Park near the eastern edge of town and the town is improperly blocking it.
Dolomite, a division of Schenectady-based Callanan Industries, wants a federal judge to declare the asphalt plant should be allowed to proceed and is seeking $4 million in damages from the town, according to the lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Albany.
The lawsuit alleges Dolomite has been treated to ”outrageously arbitrary and capricious conduct by officials of the town who have abused their authority and allowed a vocal minority and petty prejudices to govern municipal affairs.”
Town Attorney James Walsh could not be reached Wednesday afternoon for comment.
The federal lawsuit is the latest action in a four-year dispute that began after Dolomite applied for approval to build in the industrial park in June 2011. Significant public opposition arose, and town officials have taken several actions to try to block the project.
In the lawsuit, Dolomite contends the plant is a legally allowed use in an industrially zoned area, despite efforts by the Town Board–and Goslin in particular–in 2013 and 2014 to amend the allowed uses in the park to eliminate heavy industry. Dolomite challenged those laws in state Supreme Court, where one lawsuit was successful and another remains pending. The town Planning Board has suspended its review of the Dolomite application because of the legal uncertainty.
Citizens have continued to speak out against the project when there have been town proceedings, expressing concerns about the contents of the plant’s projected air emissions and the impact of heavy asphalt-delivery truck traffic on Route 67. Dolomite contends the project will actually have minimal environmental impact.
The federal lawsuit says the town’s efforts to change the law have been done without first changing the town’s comprehensive land use plan, which should govern the rights of all property owners in town.
“The town adopted a defective zoning revision intended to preclude Dolomite’s lawful project in contradiction of its own comprehensive plan,” the lawsuit states.
The case is scheduled for a conference Oct. 27 before federal Judge Christian F. Hummel in Albany.
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Categories: Business, News, Schenectady County