November 4, 2011

My reading of the Anschutz lawsuit

I reviewed the thick stack of filings last night. I am not a lawyer, but basically I hear this from the two sides:


The DEC has historically interpreted the Environmental Conservation Law to give it lots and lots of power. It's convenient for us to have the DEC have that power, so how dare you consider that they might not have it?

Town of Dryden

Past Court of Appeals precedent in mining cases based on different but similar law has left substantial zoning power with Towns for just this kind of thing. There's nothing in the law or its supporting documents to support Anschutz's claim that the DEC is in charge of everything.

To me, it looks like the Town should win fairly easily - and be able to fend off "takings" lawsuits because any "taking" involved would have happened in 1969, when the zoning was first passed.

I am, of course, not an attorney, and I was biased toward local control even before this issue came up. I understand that New York State law is its own set of especially twisted passages that make many mazes look straightforward - so we'll see!

It's likely a long path to the Court of Appeals, with court decisions in any direction at least possible along the way.

Posted by simon at November 4, 2011 7:44 AM in ,
Note on photos