PITTSBURGH Three Rivers
Metal Recyclers LLC has been dealt another setback in its quest
to install an auto shredder after a federal judge kicked a
lawsuit filed by the company down to the state level.
The Michigan recycler sued
Fabius Township and three of its officials in U.S. District
Court in Michigan, claiming that the men had used their
authority for more than three years to prevent the company from
developing the property.
The recycler purchased the
environmentally remediated property in 2008 and initiated
development efforts on the 14.3-acre site in 2009. But the
township forced the company to stop work on the grounds that it
didnt receive the proper permits under the
townships wetlands ordinance.
The Michigan Department of
Environmental Quality (DEQ) confirmed that the property
didnt require a wetlands permit under state law, but the
township continued to enforce the stop-work order.
The towns Planning
Commission accepted and recommended approval of an amended site
plan in March, but local officials refused to approve the
preliminary site plan, according to the lawsuit
(amm.com, June 28).
Federal Judge Robert Jonker
denied jurisdiction and has forwarded the case to
Michigans St. Joseph County Circuit Court. Jonker argued
that local zoning and ordinance matters are best handled at the
state level and should only be moved to federal court when the
local judicial process is deemed inadequate or fails in a way
that opens the door to proper federal review.
The recycler couldnt be
reached for comment.