Environmental Law FAQs

Governmental Mediated Settlements

The Indiana Court of Appeals recently looked at a case where a local government board failed to honor a settlement agreement reached through mediation. While the Court found that punitive damages were not appropriate because the board did not act in bad faith, it did find that the board was required to honor the settlement agreement.

Our attorneys are available to speak with clients regarding their cases with government agencies to determine the best approach through mediation, trial and appeals.

In a recent case, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that land owners did not need to obtain a special use permit to build a solid waste transfer station because their proposed operation fell under the definition of a truck terminal for the purposes of the zoning ordinance. The Court reasoned that even though there would be solid waste and recyclables stored at the facility, the storage period of less than two days for each load was not enough to require a special use permit.

Our attorneys are available to discuss cases like this with clients to help them understand how current Zoning law will affect their concerns.

Zoning and Planning

David Van Gilder has been practicing law since 1983. He is a graduate of Bowling Green State University and Washington College of Law, The American University. Dave is a member and past President of the Allen County Bar Association, a member of the Environmental Law Institute and is on the Boards of Directors for the Hoosier Environmental Council Foundation and the ACRES Land Trust.

Andrew Simmons has been practicing law since 2007. He is a graduate of Manchester College and Washington University School of Law.

If you have a question about an environmental law matter, please call our offices and ask for Dave or his assistant, Krystal; or Andrew or his assistant, Jessica.

Environmental Law FAQs


What types of restrictions may be on my property?


Real estate owners need to be aware of possible restrictions placed on their property. Under federal law, property may be subject to various environmental restrictions. At the local level, zoning ordinances limit the uses of property depending on the district in which the property is located. A special exception, variance, or even a rezoning may be required for a land use. Finally, private agreements such as restrictive covenants are often found in developments. Typical covenants regulate lot size, parking, and home appearance.

Accessing the information on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.

The materials and information on this web site are made available by Van Gilder & Trzynka, P.C. for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The transmission and receipt of information on the web site do not form or constitute an attorney-client relationship. This includes, but is not limited to, using the link on this web site to solicit information from Van Gilder & Trzynka, P.C. Persons accessing the information on this web site should not act upon the information provided without seeking profession legal counsel.

When a State Administrative Agency makes a final decision, that decision may be reviewed under the Administrative Orders and Procedures Act (AOPA). The AOPA includes many procedural requirements for reviewing an Agency action. One of these requirements is that the appealing party must include a complete record of the administrative proceedings. In a recent case, the Indiana Appellate Court upheld the dismissal of a case for failure to include all of the required documents in the record.

Our attorneys have experience in successful administrative law appeals and are available to discuss with clients the various procedural requirements for appealing an agency’s decision including what documents are necessary to include in the record.

Administrative Law Appeals

The Indiana Supreme Court recently ruled that an agreed order between the Plaintiff and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) could not be enforced as a contract. In that case, the Plaintiff had agreed with IDEM on an order for environmental cleanup of a creek to a specified standard. IDEM later referred the case to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, urging it to require a more stringent clean-up plan. The Supreme Court held that the agreed order was an Agency Action under the Administrative Orders and Procedures Act and was, as such, not enforceable as a contract.

Our attorneys are available to discuss the effects of state agency actions under the Administrative Orders and Procedures Act on our your interests.

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