BY BUDDY NEVINS
Broward Circuit Judge John Bowman today blocked the construction of a garbage transfer station in Sunrise.
Bowman granted the city a directed verdict, awarding them the victory.
Green Now, the firm that wanted to build the transfer station opposed by a majority of the Sunrise commission and many residents, was told by Bowman that it did not exhaust its administrative options before filing a lawsuit, according to a Sunrise commissioner.
Sunrise Mayor Mike Ryan applauded the ruling. A lawyer, Ryan had opposed the transfer station from the start.
“We defended this lawsuit vigorously and never felt it had merit. Rather than following the established procedure of filing an application with the city, Green Now chose to pursue a political route,” the mayor said. “When that failed, they sued the city. Our code does not permit this use, and the voters spoke loudly we do not want such uses in our city. The court ruled in favor of the city on every ground possible.”
Commissioner Sheila Alu, also a lawyer, was another opponent of the project.
“I couldn’t be more ecstatic with the court’s decision,” she said.
The Sun-Sentinel said that Richard Coker, attorney for Green Now, told them his clients planned to appeal.
(An earlier version of this story is below)
By Buddy Nevins
The nasty issue of a proposed waste transfer site is back…this time in front of a judge.
The waste company Green Now will ask a Broward Circuit Judge John Bowman Monday for permission to build a waste recycling transfer station.
Judge John Bowman Will Decide Case (source: Jaablog.com)
The commission blocked the company’s plans almost two years ago after neighborhood residents protested.
“We ran into a buzz saw,” said Richard Coker, the veteran Broward lawyer representing Green Now.
The controversy was hightened when Browardbeat.com revealed that Commissioner Don Rosen’s consulting company did business with a waste company allied with Green Now. Rosen wouldn’t tell Browardbeat.com what the consulting consisted of.
When the commissioners blocked the station, Green Now sued. It has taken almost two years for the case to get to Monday’s bench trial.
Green Now’s Goal
Green Now wants Judge Bowman to declare that a garbage transfer station is legal under Sunrise’s zoning code.
Commissioners said the transfer station was not allowed under Sunrise’s code when they voted it down. They since have passed a law requiring a referendum before any new garbage facility is allowed in Sunrise.
The Green Now plant would be built on approximately two acres in Sunrise’s industrial area.
It would be a transfer station where commercial waste was sorted for recycled materials. Any dry cardboard, paper, metal and glass would be carted away for recycling, while what remained would be carried to another location for disposal.
Nothing would remain in the largely-sealed building overnight, Coker promised
Even if Bowman rules against the city– in a bench trial the judge decides because there is no jury — residents will have another shot at stopping the project. It must return to the Sunrise City Commission for site approval.
Resident David Iannacone said he will be there to help keep the station out of Sunrise.
“It will be like two years ago…” Iannacone predicted.
Iannacone said he was not a neighbor of the project. He is a a contractor and a Planning and Zoning Board member and that’s why he opposes the project, he said.
“I don’t think its good for the city,” said Iannacone, a member of the Sunrise Chamber of Commerce.