An Article 78 decision has been issued and it is favorable for those opposing the asphalt facility!
In easy terms, the judge decided that the court does not have the jurisdiction to reclassify the SEQR classification from Unclassified to a Type II. Due to this, the applicant would be subject to the full environmental study that the town is mandating in order to proceed. It’s worth noting that any findings of that environmental study would be applied to the strict interpretation of the town code, and also that the study would have to be funded entirely by the asphalt company.
It is worth noting that this does not necessarily mean that the fight is over and that the battle has been won. In theory, the applicant could attempt to do the environmental study, or they could appeal the decision to a higher court. While both of those avenues would likely produce no better result for the prospects of the asphalt facility, it is important to remember that the zoning is still listed as M-3 on some of the parcels owned by the applicants’ mothers’ LLC, so in theory, a future owner or even the same owner could apply for another similar facility again even if this application has been delayed or stopped.
Due to this, we recommend celebrating this small victory, but focusing on the path toward rezoning that district of Hamburg to an R, C or mixed use zoning that would allow for non-industrial utilization only. It is vital that citizens attend planning board and town meetings to suggest rezoning to prevent this nightmare from ever popping back up again!
Thanks to everyone for all of the support – this wouldn’t be possible without the hardworking folks here.