Westerly residents are asking the town council to drop or modify a consent agreement it signed last year with the owner and tenants of a controversial quarry.
Under the consent agreement (see page 7), any new ordinances regulating quarries wouldn’t apply to this property in Bradford in Westerly. Blake Filippi, the lawyer representing the residents, said the consent agreement wrongfully strips away the town’s right to regulate quarrying activities that affect neighbors. But he said the town could seek to restore its authority.
“And we hope that we won’t have to file a lawsuit,” said Filippi. “We hope that the town of Westerly will see the merit in our claim and petition the court itself to modify the order.”
Blake said the town could file a petition at the Rhode Island Supreme Court, where the consent agreement is still under ongoing appeal.
Quarry operator Armetta LLC, formerly known as Copar Quarries, recently shut down its operations and filed for bankruptcy. But the owner of the quarry can still find new tenants and continue to operate under the consent agreement, said Filippi.
“That’s really the goal is to get the town of Westerly to realize the error, the grave error, that the entire town council made and incorporate these arguments into the ongoing Supreme Court appeal of that consent order,” said Filippi, who is the state representative for Block Island, and portions of Charlestown and Westerly.
The Westerly town manager is still reviewing the petition. The town council has 40 days to respond.
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