Posted by: Patricia Salkin | November 6, 2020

IN Appeals Court Holds Waste Transfer Station was a Permitted Use in Heavy Industrial Zones

This post was authored by Matthew Loescher, Esq.

In a previous ruling related to this case, the court held that waste transfer stations were not absolutely prohibited by the Ordinance if they were unlicensed. This case reviewed the question of whether these waste transfer stations were permitted in a heavy industrial zone, which is where Monster Trash sought to operate such a facility. Respondents Owen County Council, Owen County Commissioners, and Owen County Board of Zoning Appeals (“BZA”) contended that because “operating a waste transfer station” was not listed in Section 3.3, it was not a permitted use. Monster Trash claimed that the activities of a waste transfer station were permitted by Section 3.3(i), which listed “reduction of trash or garbage” as a permitted use.

 At the outset, the court noted that none of the terms at issue were defined in the Ordinance, which provided that “any words not defined in the Ordinance shall be construed in their general accepted meanings as defined by Webster’s Dictionary.” The court therefore determined that reasonable and fair description of a waste transfer station was a facility in which waste is drawn together, caused to converge, or diminished in extent. As all of these activities fit squarely within the Webster’s definition of “reduce,” one of the uses listed in Section 3.3(i) of the Ordinance, the court reversed the judgment of the trial court, and ordered the BZA to issue a document to IDEM and/or Monster Trash confirming that zoning requirements were not required for the location of a solid waste transfer station on the property.

 Monster Trash, Inc. v Owen County Council, 2020 WL 6479601 (IN App. 11/4/2020)

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