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In re All Metals Recycling, Inc.

Supreme Court of Vermont

August 14, 2014

In re All Metals Recycling, Inc. (DRB Permit Appeal)

Page 896

Editorial Note:

This Opinion is subject to motion for reargument or formal revision before publication. See V.R.A.P. 40

On Appeal from Superior Court, Environmental Division. Thomas G. Walsh, J.

Hobart F. Popick and James T. DeWeese of Langrock Sperry & Wool, LLP, Burlington, for Appellants.

Paul S. Gillies of Tarrant, Gillies, Merriman & Richardson, Montpelier, for Appellee Town of Williston.

Robert F. O'Neill and David A. Boyd of Gravel & Shea PC, Burlington, for Appellee All Metals Recycling, Inc.

Present: Reiber, C.J., Skoglund, Robinson and Crawford, JJ.,[1] and Zonay, Supr. J., Specially Assigned.

OPINION

Page 897

Skoglund, J.

[¶1] Thirteen Town of Williston residents appeal from the Superior Court, Environmental Division's grant of a discretionary permit to All Metals Recycling, Inc., to establish an outdoor storage area and install a scale and scale house. The discretionary permit allows applicant to continue operating a previously unpermitted scrap-metals recycling business in Williston. The permit proposes no physical changes to any buildings on the premises, as applicant has already constructed the scale and scale house which the permit will authorize. Residents argue that (1) applicant's business is not a permitted use under Williston's Unified Development Bylaws; (2) the environmental court erred in not remanding the application for further review by the Town's Development Review Board (DRB) when applicant submitted a new parking plan several weeks before trial; and (3) applicant's proposed parking plan does not conform to the Bylaws. We affirm.

[¶2] For several years, applicant has operated a scrap-metals recycling facility at 38-42 Dorset Lane in Williston. Applicant's business consists of purchasing, sorting, and recycling metals that are either brought to the facility by customers, or collected directly from customers and trucked to the facility by applicant. Customers bringing materials to the facility are required to separate scrap metals from garbage and nonrecyclable materials prior

Page 898

to applicant's acceptance of the metals. Applicant does not accept garbage at the Williston facility. Materials collected offsite from customers are trucked in, and the trucks are weighed, unloaded, and weighed again. After collection and weighing, applicant then sorts, shears, crushes, and compacts the metals using a variety of industrial equipment, and ships them for resale to mills, processors, and refineries.

[¶3] The facility is located in Williston's Gateway Zoning District North (GZDN). ReSOURCE: A Nonprofit Community Enterprise, Inc. leases the property from the owner, Riggs Properties. In turn, applicant subleases approximately 463 square feet of indoor office space as well as extensive exterior space from ReSOURCE. Prior to construction of the scale and scale house, the owner of Riggs Properties informed applicant that the area in which the scale and scale house would be placed was part of applicant's sublease. However, it was later determined that the scale and scale house were located on a small portion of land belonging to the Town.

[¶4] Residents, including a concerned business competitor, sent a letter to the Town's Zoning Administrator expressing concerns regarding applicant's business. Residents questioned applicant's lack of a permit, and whether applicant's activities were a permitted use within the GZDN under the Bylaws. These concerns were brought to applicant's attention, and soon after, applicant submitted a discretionary permit application to the Administrator. After a public notice and hearing, the DRB approved the discretionary permit with several conditions, including that applicant obtain a lease from the Town for use of ...


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