TALENT — An environmental group on Thursday filed a notice of intent to appeal a county decision to allow an asphalt plant to continue operations along Bear Creek.
Rogue Advocates will file its appeal with the state's Land Use Board of Appeals. Filing of the notice is the latest move in a long-running battle between Mountain View Paving and those who want the plant shut down.
Both sides declared victory after a Sept. 26 ruling by county Hearings Officer Donald Rubenstein, who overturned a county ruling and denied Mountain View's request to be affirmed as a legal, non-conforming use.
But Rubenstein also declared that parts of the operation — established before 2003 — were legal.
Jackson County development officials have worked with Mountain View Paving since the ruling to develop an agreement that would cover parts of the operation that are legal to ensure they meet county codes. The company signed the agreement Friday, said County Administrator Danny Jordan.
Rogue Advocates and the city of Talent both appealed the county planning decision that had sanctioned the plant's operations.
City officials said they will explore options for their next move, which might include joining Rogue Advocates in the appeal to LUBA.
Nearby residents thought the September ruling meant the plant would have to shut down immediately. But county officials are seeking ways to work with the company so it can remedy shortcomings, Jordan said.
"We are gong to proceed with the hearings officer's order to implement the ruling to bring them into compliance," said Jordan.
"If LUBA changes something in the hearings officer's order "¦ we will respond to implement what LUBA requires," said Jordan.
Tony Boom is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.