By BRETT WILKISON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Shamrock Materials, the Petaluma concrete supplier, has filed a legal request for release from a lawsuit targeting Sonoma County’s approval of the controversial Dutra Materials asphalt plant south of Petaluma.
Shamrock was named as a defendant in the lawsuit filed in January against the county and Dutra by environmental groups and the city of Petaluma.
The company was included in the legal challenge because a late change in the Dutra project required use of Shamrock’s property along the Petaluma River to deliver aggregate to the adjacent Dutra site.
Shamrock made no objections to the changes at the time. Supervisors approved the disputed Dutra project on a 3-2 vote in December.
Supervisors granted Dutra’s approval on assurances by county planning staff there would be an agreement between the two companies for use of Shamrock’s land.
However, Shamrock’s legal request, called a demurrer, says the company should be dropped from the lawsuit because it never agreed to such use and has no stake in the Dutra project.
“They have not consented to Dutra using Shamrock property,” said Santa Rosa attorney Clay Clement, who represents Shamrock. He said the company did not previously oppose the inclusion of Shamrock in Dutra’s plans because “it wasn’t their place to object or not to Dutra’s project.”
Calls to county planning officials were not immediately returned Wednesday.
Dutra opponents contend that Shamrock’s stance is a major setback for the project.
But Aimi Dutra, a spokeswoman for her family’s company, said Dutra Materials is waiting to “formalize our agreement with Shamrock” until Dutra meets various “start-up conditions.”
“That’s a standard business practice and it’s why we agree that Shamrock should not be named in this lawsuit,” Dutra wrote.
Opponents have several weeks to respond to Shamrock’s legal request, which they said they planned to oppose.
A court date for the lawsuit has not been set.