Northern District of New York Finds Claims Arising From Site Plan Application Unripe

Plaintiff made diverse claims that Defendant Town of Ballston (“Town”) used improper, discriminatory and unconstitutional means to thwart its efforts to construct a hot mix asphalt plant in the Curtis Industrial Park (“CIP”) in the Town. At its core, Plaintiff alleged Defendants opposed construction of a legal business under the Town's current zoning plan, and violated local laws and rules in an attempt to prevent the construction of same. As a result, Plaintiff was unable to build the project, and claimed damages. Plaintiff’s specific allegations include (1) Defendants discriminated against it by applying different standards to its project than to those of other similarly situated businesses; (2) the Town’s Planning Board deliberately prolonged consideration of its site plan application and refused, in bad faith, to process same, (3) the Town enacted an ordinance designed to delay or prevent its project, lied about the purpose of said ordinance, and refused to withdraw the ordinance despite public ally acknowledging its defects, forcing Plaintiff to litigate the issue, and (4) the Town purposefully delayed processing the site plan after the Supreme Court struck down the ordinance, and then passed a new ordinance with the same defects as the earlier ordinance.

Despite Plaintiff’s varied claims, the Court found that these allegations, even if taken as true, indicated that the case was not ripe for disposition. The Complaint stated Plaintiff applied for a permit to build an asphalt plant in the CIP, and all of Plaintiff's alleged injuries flowed from the Town's failure to approve that plan. Yet nothing in the Complaint indicated that the Town Zoning Board, let alone Zoning Appeals Board, ever ruled on the application, or that the application had been withdrawn. In addition, the state court decision that established a restraining order against the ordinance Plaintiff cited specifically directed the Town to continue processing the application. Ultimately, nothing in the Complaint indicated that any of Plaintiff’s efforts showed Plaintiff’s abandonment of the initial application or that an appeal of the initial denial had been completed. Accordingly, the court held the issue was not ripe for review.

The case was Dolomite Products Company, Inc. v. Town of Ballston, 2016 WL 5394711 (N.D.N.Y. September 27, 2016).  Please note that an appeal has been filed in this case.

Powered by 123ContactForm | Report abuse