Superior Court judge rules in favor of Pond View appeal in East Providence zoning case
PROVIDENCE — Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter ruled in favor of TLA-Pond View and Kenlin Properties in their appeal of a 2011 East Providence Zoning Board decision which deemed the operation to be in violation of city guidelines.
In the 22-page decision released Monday, Aug. 5, Judge Taft-Carter wrote, "This Court concludes that Appellants' substantial rights were prejudiced because the Decision of the Zoning Board, affirming the Zoning Officer‟s Notice of Violation, was clearly erroneous and made upon unlawful procedure. Accordingly, the Plaintiffs‟ appeal is granted, and the Decision of the Zoning Board is reversed. Counsel shall submit the appropriate judgment for entry."
TLA-Pond View and Kenlin Properties, owned by Kenneth Foley, have long been at odds with neighbors in the Rumford section of the city where the recycling plant was located. Residents claimed excessive amounts of dust and other debris was emanating from the plant.
The Zoning Board in 2011 deemed TLA-Pond View to have violated an ordinance pertaining to the recycling of construction and demolition debris other than wood materials and for stockpiling substantial amounts of materials on the site.
"What the Zoning Board did was find (Pond View) to be in violation of the original variance. People need to understand we can't put (Mr. Foley) out of business," Zoning Board Chairman Gene Saveory said. "And the DEM is in charge of the tonnage, not us. All we can do is make sure they operate during the appropriate times and abide by the variance."
TLA-Pond View went into receivership in late 2012. All its of its equipment was sold at auction in December of last year. Ironically, Mr. Foley, who initiated the recycling company at the 1 Dexter Road locale before selling out, was awarded the contract by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management to clean up the facility. Since TLA-Pond View's closure, Mr. Foley has operated an indoor recycling business at the same site.
"(Mr. Foley) still has the variance to remain open. As long as he conforms to the original variance, he's still in the game and there's really nothing the Zoning Board can do about it," Mr. Saveory added.