Landfill backers vow appeal of ruling upholding zoning law

May 24, 1994|By Bruce Reid | Bruce Reid,Sun Staff Writer

Proponents of a proposed rubble landfill near Havre de Grave that has been the subject of a four-year legal battle say they will appeal a recent court decision against them.

Harford Circuit Judge Cypert O. Whitfill ruled last week that Harford County acted within its authority by enacting a zoning law that in effect prevents local approval of the project. The law, passed in 1991, establishes minimum acreage requirements, setbacks from residential areas and other restrictions that the proponents cannot meet.

Maryland Reclamation Associates Inc., which proposed the 68-acre landfill, argued that it had a right to proceed with its quest for a state permit because it bought the land based on initial local approval. A newly elected County Council rescinded that approval, then enacted the zoning law, which the Churchville company said was aimed at preventing its project.

Residents opposed to the Gravel Hill landfill project fear that it would pollute ground water, create dust and noise, and deplete underground drinking water supplies.

Judge Whitfill's 36-page decision, in which he said Maryland Reclamation did not have a vested right under state law to operate a landfill, was the latest action in the case.

"It's not going to stop here," John R. Greiber Jr., an attorney for Maryland Reclamation, said yesterday.

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