PORT CLINTON — An Ottawa County judge today ordered a quarry owner that is mixing spent lime on its Benton Township property to stop work until it is compliance with zoning.
Judge Bruce Winters of Ottawa County Common Pleas Court granted a preliminary injunction against Rocky Ridge Development LLC, which owns the former StoneCo quarry on State Rt. 590. Benton Township and Ottawa County officials filed the civil suit last month against the company, arguing that it was doing industrial work on property zoned as agricultural, and that the company needed a special use permit.
Company representatives had pointed to an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency permit to reuse the spent lime, and argued that permit supersedes local zoning codes. Rocky Ridge has applied for a permit to eventually fill the quarry with the blended material.
Last month, township officials got work suspended by obtaining a temporary restraining order.
Judge Winters agreed with the township and county, ruling that the work still must comply with local zoning codes, and that Rocky Ridge was violating the code by digging holes and mixing spent lime with dirt on agricultural property.
The Ohio EPA had asked to intervene, arguing the court did not have authority to adjudicate its permitting authority. Judge Winters rejected the state agency’s motion, saying the matter before him would be limited to the zoning issues raised by the township and county.
The spent lime is from Toledo’s Collins Park Water Treatment Plant. Rocky Ridge is affiliated with Stansley Industries, as is Custom Ecology of Ohio, which has a contract to remove spent lime from a lagoon near the plant.
Stansley Industries and affiliated companies have received millions in city contracts since 2014 to remove the byproduct. Related companies were also partners in a North Toledo landfill that came under investigation in 2014 when it caught fire and caused respiratory health worries for dozens of downwind residents.
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