Trash Wars Get Bogged Down In Legal Documents


by Rick Langenberg:



Teller and Woodland Park officials don’t appear ready for a truce in the ongoing trash fight regarding the future expansion and annexation pursuit of Teller County Waste (TCW), west of the downtown area.

As a result, a forthcoming hearing for TCW before the Woodland Park City Council, scheduled later this month, will most likely get delayed. TCW was expected to receive the final regulatory approvals from the city council for its project, highlighted by plans for a community recycling center and an expanded business operation in Woodland Park.

According to a report provided by Teller County Attorney Chris Brandt during a recent commissioners meeting, both sides are still exchanging legal paper work that further affirms their respective positions. No court hearings have been scheduled.

The county has alleged that the city didn’t follow correct state and local procedures in annexing the nearly 2-acre property area. In addition, they have cited major infrastructure improvements that need to be made to a main county road that accesses the trash site. The city, meanwhile, has contended that the county didn’t meet proper deadlines in making a request for reconsidering the annexation. They also say they have made major compromises in meeting the county’s infrastructure demands, such as more than doubling the road improvement costs the city requested TCW to make.

Last August, the city council, by a near unanimous vote, agreed to annex the property and rezone the area to a new community commercial land use designation, permitting the project to move forward. The final steps necessary involve the approval of conditional and special use permits and a site plan for the project. These permit requests have already been okayed by the Woodland Park Planning Commission..

But a lawsuit filed by Teller County late last year slammed the breaks on the TCW approval process.

Based on comments by officials from Woodland Park and Teller County, the issue will most likely be decided by a district court judge. In a recent decision, a judge refused to accept a request by the city to have the case dismissed due to the timing of the county’s original complaint. This set the stage for a lengthy legal process, according to most legal observers.