Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Judge sides with Pasco in Angelo's landfill dispute

An administrative judge this week dealt another setback to a proposed private landfill east of Dade City, upholding 2009 amendments to Pasco's land use plan that could block the controversial project.

Attorneys for Angelo's Aggregate Materials, which first proposed its project in 2006, had challenged the changes Pasco commissioners made to the county's long-term growth plan.

Those changes, in part, clarified that landfills for household garbage could be built only on land designated as "public" or "semipublic."

Angelo's property near the Withlacoochee River and Green Swamp is zoned agricultural/residential.

Administrative Law Judge J.L. Johnston said in an opinion released Wednesday that the amendments met the requirements laid out in state law.

"It was not proven beyond fair debate that the plan amendments are not based on relevant and appropriate data and analysis," he wrote.

Angelo's has 15 days to file an objection.

The company is also fighting for its project on two other fronts, a civil lawsuit against Pasco County and an appeal of the state Department of Environmental Protection's denial of a permit for the landfill. Both of those cases are pending.

In what could be the most significant portion of his ruling this week, Johnston sided with the county's initial argument: That even before commissioners adopted the 2009 amendments, their plan relegated sanitary landfills to the public/semi-public land use category — which would have prevented Angelo's from creating a landfill on their property.

Angelo's had argued that was not the case, that Pasco had put in place substantial new policies to thwart the project. Chief Assistant County Attorney David Goldstein said commissioners adopted the changes to clarify the plan's intentions regarding the location of sanitary landfills.

"It's always been our position," said Goldstein.

The judge's recommended order goes back to the state Department of Community Affairs, which had already given its blessing to the county's land use changes, for a final decision. State officials are expected to sign off again on the new rules.

"We're optimistic because of the ruling," said Goldstein. "It was a nice Christmas present."

Angelo's began seeking permission in 2006 to build a private 90-acre household garbage landfill on property off Old Lakeland Highway near Messick Road. The landfill could be expanded to cover 1,000 acres near the Green Swamp, which feeds drinking water sources of nearby areas.

The proposal has drawn fierce opposition from environmental groups, nearby landowners and public officials in neighboring cities. Last year the state Department of Environmental Protection denied the company's request for an environmental permit.

If the judge's recommendation stands as expected, Angelo's could have the option of filing an application to get its property's land use classification changed to the one that would allow landfills.

Winning such approval from commissioners would no doubt be a tough political battle for the company. It would also be fruitless without a state environmental permit.

Last May, Angelo's filed a lawsuit against Pasco County, accusing officials of making a "concerted effort" to stop the landfill by holding up applications until officials could change the rules to make it more difficult for a landfill.

The lawsuit also said the actions were done "intentionally without proper motive or a rational basis" and that the county had acted in bad faith in its dealings with the company.

Jodie Tillman can be reached at or (727) 869-6247.

Judge sides with Pasco in Angelo's landfill dispute 12/23/10 [Last modified: Thursday, December 23, 2010 8:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics


     Winner of the week

    Peter Antonacci. Gov. Rick Scott tapped his go-to utility player to lead his Florida job recruiting agency, Enterprise Florida, having previously picked him for his general counsel, to lead the South Florida Water Management District and to serve as Palm Beach state …

  2. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 19: A peregrina spends the whole day under the weather, and part of the day under the table


    Day 19: El Burgo Ranero to Puente Villarente: 25.4 km, 7.5 hours (Total for Days 1-19 = 454 km (282 miles)

    This list pretty much sums up my day:

    Eat two bananas

    Walk 13.1 kilometers


    Walk 6.2 kilometers


    Eat half an apple

    Walk 6.1 kilometers

    Crash< …

  3. Storm routs Cleveland


    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.

  4. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Rays centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre puts Texas ahead 4-3 when he scores after two wild pitches.
  5. Rowdies shut out Charleston


    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.