Argument exists over Williston recycling company permit
Nov. 23, 2011
By Luke Baynes
Thirteen Williston residents have filed an appeal with the Vermont Superior Court’s environmental division regarding an Oct. 25 decision by the Williston Development Review Board to grant a discretionary permit to All Metals Recycling Inc. for the establishment of an outdoor storage area, scale and scale house at its Dorset Lane facility.
The notice of appeal, filed by Hobart F. Popick, an attorney with the Burlington-based Langrock, Sperry & Wool, LLP, does not provide a reason for the appeal.
However, a prior petition to the DRB regarding All Metals’ permit application — signed by the 13 appellants — states “that the Applicants are not eligible for a permit in one or more respects, including, without limitation, that the Applicants are using and/or propose to use, the subject property in a manner that is not eligible for permitting under the Williston Development Bylaw.”
At the Oct. 25 DRB meeting, Popick — speaking on behalf of his clients — voiced several concerns, including that All Metals was operating without proper permits and that a daycare center is located across the road from its property. Popick also claimed that All Metals was operating an automobile recycling business on its Williston property, an activity not allowed under the town’s zoning bylaws.
The DRB cited 10 conditions of approval, including that “the applicants must obtain the approval of the town’s Selectboard (a requirement), and also obtain any required permits from the State of Vermont for a salvage yard operation.”
Among the appellants listed in the notice of appeal is Williston resident Mark Burnett, co-owner of the Hinesburg-based Burnett Scrap Metals LLC — a competitor to All Metals Recycling.
Burnett appeared at Monday’s Williston Selectboard meeting, along with his brother and business partner, Jim Burnett.
Mark Burnett opened the meeting by making reference to the All Metals property.
“Later on the agenda the town is going to talk about the sale of town property, located on Dorset Lane, for use as a salvage yard,” he said.
Mark Burnett was interrupted by Williston town manager Rick McGuire, who repied: “No, that’s not true. The town is considering selling its own property … the town plan is to long-term sell the town garage and all the property associated with it, and for the town to build a town garage on another parcel of land.”
Jim Burnett interjected, asking: “So the illegal salvage yard that’s operating there now, it’s not going to be sold to them?”
McGuire responded: “We haven’t even put it up for sale yet, so I couldn’t speak to that. But if they’re the successful bidder, we could be selling to them, but that’s years away.”
Popick declined to comment on the specifics of the appeal.
“What I can tell you is because this is in the environmental court, under the environmental rules, we’re required to submit what’s called a ‘statement of questions,’” Popick said.
“Environmental court is unusual,” he continued, “in that within a timeframe after filing the notice of appeal — unlike in other courts in the state — you actually do have to tell them in your statement of questions what legal issues you’re asking the court to review.”
Popick indicated that the statement of questions would likely be filed in “early December.”