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L.C. Dev. Co. v. Lincoln County

ELR Citation: 30 ELR 20751
Nos. No. ED77468, 26 S.W.3d 336/(Mo. Ct. App., 07/05/2000)

The court holds that a county in Missouri can regulate the location of solid waste facilities. A development company challenged a county regulation that prohibits the location of a sanitary landfill within one-quarter mile of any occupied dwelling. A trial court denied the company's motion for summary judgment and granted the county's motion to dismiss. The court first holds that the trial court erred in granting the county's motion to dismiss. On a motion asserting failure of a pleading to state a claim on which relief can be granted, if information outside the pleadings is presented to and not excluded by the court, the motion to dismiss is to be treated as one for summary judgment. In such a case, all parties shall be given a reasonable opportunity to present all material pertinent to such a motion. In granting the county's motion to dismiss, the trial court referred to facts, documents, and information outside the pleadings. However, the trial court did not give notice to the parties that it would treat the county's motion to dismiss as a motion for summary judgment, and the trial court did not allow the parties a reasonable opportunity to present all relevant material to such a motion. Thus, the trial court must be reversed. However, in the interest of judicial economy, the court addresses the issue and holds that under Missouri law, a county is permitted to pass ordinances regulating the location of solid waste management facilities. Under a county's broad regulatory powers, it can regulate any aspect of the solid waste management process, including storage. Storage is defined as a space or a place for storing. Thus, if a county can regulate the space or place for storing solid waste, it can also regulate the location of these spaces or places, namely solid waste dumps.

The full text of this opinion is available from ELR (5 pp., ELR Order No. L-243).

Counsel for Plaintiff
John F. Arnold
Lashly & Baer
714 Locust St., St. Louis MO 63101
(314) 621-2939

Counsel for Defendant
T. Bennett Burkemper Jr.
Burkemper Law Firm
260 Main St., Troy MO 63379
(636) 462-8539