Brighton Twp. Revokes Gravel Company's Permits, Citing Violations
July 17, 2018
Brighton Township is taking action against a company carrying out mining operations at a gravel pit, as officials claim the company is violating the municipality’s ordinance by bringing a large amount of concrete onsite.
Ashley Land Development Co., Inc. and Brighton Investors, LLC received soil removal/extraction and fill permits from the township in September for operations at the Muir Road gravel pit. On Monday, the township’s Board of Trustees voted to revoke those permits, saying that Ashley Land has violated the Extraction, Excavation, Removal and Fill Ordinance by bringing a large quantity of concrete onsite for crushing. There are no provisions in the ordinance allowing concrete to be crushed within that zoning district.
Township officials also took issue with the fact that the concrete was never noted in the project log book. Trustee Sam Theis says looking back at recorded minutes of the township’s meeting with the company, it was made very clear what was permitted onsite and what was not. He also felt the failure to log the concrete was intentionally deceptive, adding, “I don’t think this is an accident. We take a look at the falsified logs, where we have stuff coming in, every single load going in, going out of that place is supposed to be on that log. That concrete is not on the log. That tells me there is intent. They intended to hide this from the township.” Attorneys representing Ashley Land say there is no language in the ordinance that expressly prohibits the concrete and that it infers imported material is allowed without a permit if the material in question is not intended to be used as fill.
In a letter to the township, Ashley Land’s representatives also note that the property has been contaminated by hydrocarbon and salt plumes emanating from the Milford Test Track, making it highly unlikely that domestic wells would be permitted in the future. Ashley Land attorneys say that will impact the ability to redevelop the property after the gravel pit has been closed; an issue that Theis and township attorney John Harris called a “red herring” and “veiled threat”. Township officials say while they’re willing to look into that matter, the immediate issue at hand is removal of the concrete.
Harris does not believe the company will cease operations without court intervention, and so the board also authorized him to pursue litigation against the company in addition to the permit revocation. (DK)