LAFAYETTE — The owners of a business near a proposed garbage transfer station are trying to block the City-Parish Council from reversing a decision last year that halted development of the site.
The council has had no public discussions about changing course, but the threat of costly litigation raises the possibility the council might consider folding, according to legal papers filed Tuesday by Danny and Daniel Guilliot and their family business, Star Measurement Sales and Service.
City-parish government is facing two federal lawsuits over the council’s vote last year to revoke a permit for the garbage transfer station off Sunbeam Lane just outside the city limits in north Lafayette.
Waste hauler Progressive Waste Solutions of LA and Waste Facilities of Lafayette, which was developing the 16-acre site for Progressive Waste, are seeking damages that the city-parish attorney has predicted could climb into the “millions of dollars.”
The Guilliots have asked a federal judge to let them intervene in the litigation to argue against any outcome that would result in the garbage transfer project being allowed to move forward.
The Guilliots argue the lawsuits could prompt city-parish government “to concentrate on minimizing their financial exposures, even at the cost of abandoning the prohibition” as part of a settlement.
The intervention would have to be approved by the judge in the case. No court hearing has been set.
The council’s vote in October to halt the project was unanimous, despite a threat of litigation from the developer’s attorney before the vote and a warning from City-Parish Attorney Mike Hebert about potential liability.
Progressive Waste had planned to use the Sunbeam Lane site to transfer garbage to tractor-trailers to haul to landfills outside the parish.
The company had obtained all the proper permits and had begun construction when the council, at the behest of residents and business owners in the area, voted to halt the project.
Opponents raised concerns about noise, smells, heavy truck traffic and a decline in property values.
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