The opinion of the court was delivered by: BY THE COURT; EDWARD N. CAHN
Glendon Energy Company ["GEC"], the plaintiff, initiated this lawsuit against the Borough of Glendon, various members of the Borough Council of Glendon, and the spouse of one of the Council members. The plaintiff alleged violations of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 42 U.S.C. § 1988, and numerous state law claims. This court, in an Opinion issued on April 26, 1993, dismissed the case because the plaintiff's claims were not ripe.
Currently before this court is GEC's Motion for Reconsideration. For the reasons set forth below, the plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration will be denied.
The plaintiff alleged, for purposes of jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1343(a)(3), that the defendants' conduct effectuated an unconstitutional taking, and violated the plaintiff's procedural and substantive due process rights. The facts, which are stated at length in this court's Opinion dated April 26, 1993, will be developed only insofar as they pertain to the Motion before the Court.
The catalyst for this lawsuit is the defendants' putative attempt to hamper the plaintiff's efforts to develop a solid-waste-to-energy resource recovery facility and recycling center ["the Project"] in the Borough of Glendon, Northampton County, Pennsylvania. After the plaintiff's president met with the Council members of the Borough of Glendon in 1986, the Council passed a favorable resolution regarding the plaintiff's Project. In 1987, the Council adopted Ordinance 87-1, which permitted the plaintiff to use the site for the proposed project, and provided that the Borough and the plaintiff would execute a Host Community Agreement. The Agreement designated and authorized the site as a permitted use for the plaintiff's Project provided that the plaintiff complied with certain requirements. In August of 1987, the Borough adopted Ordinance 87-2, which designated that resource recovery facilities are lawful in an area zoned as Industrial-Office. The land that the plaintiff had earmarked for the project was in such an area.
In February, 1987, the plaintiff submitted to the zoning officer of Glendon an application for permission to undertake construction. Ultimately, on August 11, 1989, the plaintiff's request was denied. The denial was purportedly based upon the Borough Council's prior rejection of the site plan. The site plan had been rejected because it did not comply with 53 Pa. Con. Stat. Ann. § 4000.511(a), which provides that "the [Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources] [hereinafter "PaDER"] shall not issue a permit for, nor allow the operation of . . . a new resource recovery facility within 300 yards of . . . parks . . . existing prior to the date the department has received an administratively complete application. . . ." Heil Park, which is owned by the City of Easton, was within 300 yards of the proposed site.
In February of 1992, the plaintiff purchased approximately nine acres of land, which was contiguous to the property that it had originally acquired. This acquisition enabled the plaintiff to reposition most of the Project more than 300 yards from Heil Park. On February 29, 1992, the plaintiff then filed a Conditional Use Application with the Borough. The sole difference between that application and the one in 1987 was the location of the project. At a hearing, GEC allegedly produced evidence to show that the Project complied with Borough regulations and that the completed facility would not cause any pollution problems. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Council unanimously voted to deny GEC's application. GEC maintains that the Council's determination was not supported by evidence presented at the hearing, and that the hearing was a sham. To date the PaDER has still not issued a permit to the plaintiff.
The plaintiff contends that this court erroneously dismissed its substantive due process claim arising out of the denial of its 1992 Conditional Use Permit. The plaintiff argues, contrary to this court's Opinion, that this substantive due process claim is ripe for judicial review. Its contends that because the substantive process claims are allegedly ripe, their dismissal will recommence the statute of limitations period. See Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration at p. 9. Accordingly, the plaintiff is concerned that its substantive due process claim may be time barred when the state proceedings are completed. Id. at p. 10.
II) MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
The rationale for a motion for reconsideration is to "correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence." Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909 (3d Cir.1985), cert. denied, 476 U.S. 1171, 90 L. Ed. 2d 982, 106 S. Ct. 2895 (1986). Thus, as our sister court has properly held, a motion for reconsideration "addresses only factual and legal matters that the Court may have overlooked. . . . It is improper on a motion for reconsideration to 'ask the Court to rethink what [it] had already thought through--rightly or wrongly.'" Ciba-Geigy Corporation v. Alza Corporation, Civ. A. No. 91-5286, 1993 WL 90412 (D.N.J. March 25, 1993) (citations omitted).
As the Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently noted, "ripeness is 'peculiarly a question of timing.'" Taylor Investment, Ltd. v. Upper Darby Township, 983 F.2d 1285, 1290 (3d Cir. 1993) (quoting Thomas v. Union Carbide Agricultural Products Co., 473 U.S. 568, 580, 87 L. Ed. 2d 409, 105 S. Ct. 3325 (1985)). The holding of Taylor is that unless decisions by a municipality are final, claims involving the takings clause and the due process clause are not ripe for judicial review in federal court. Although this court held that Glendon Borough's denial of the 1992 Conditional Use Permit is final, it does not automatically follow that a constitutional challenge to that decision is ripe. "Finality is to be interpreted in a pragmatic way." New Hanover Township v. United States Corp of Army Engineers, 992 F.2d 470, 472 (3d Cir. 1993). There are other factors that need to be considered before a dispute may be resolved by a ...