Call it a split decision.
In long-awaited rulings, State Supreme Court Judge Daniel Doyle decided both for and against the town of Romulus and Circular enerG, sponsor of a proposed trash-burning, electricity-generating incinerator on former Seneca Army Depot land.
He ruled for the town in its move to dismiss a Circular enerG lawsuit on the grounds that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction while upholding nine of 11 causes of action in Circular’s lawsuit against the town of Romulus and its Town Board.
Doyle also ruled that Seneca Lake Guardian could not be an intervenor in the lawsuit. But he allowed the organization to participate as a “friend of the court” in both lawsuits.
Oral arguments on the two Article 78 lawsuits filed by Circular took place before Doyle Sept. 28.
Rochester-based Circular enerG LLC, joined by Seneca Depot LLC, owner of the 48-acre parcel where the proposed incinerator would be built, filed a lawsuit against the town, the town Zoning Board of Appeals and interested parties Alan Kiehle, Earl Martin and unspecified “John Does.”
The companies cited 12 causes of action arising from the ZBA’s adoption of an April 26, 2018 resolution vacating the zoning code interpretations issued by town code enforcement officer Adam Schrader in 2017.
Schrader said a waste-to-energy facility would be an allowed use in the zoning district where the plant would be built “if a special use permit was approved by the town Planning Board.”
The suit claimed the zoning ordinances cited by Schrader and later vacated had been substantially amended by the town to render Schrader’s interpretations “without effect.” Circular said that at the time of the amendments to the town zoning code prohibiting incinerators, the company did not have an application pending before the town for approval.
The town and the other defendants moved to dismiss the lawsuit.