LONG BEACH : Spurned by City, Asphalt Company Files Claim

An asphalt-recycling company that was denied permission to build a new plant in North Long Beach has filed a $2.2-million claim against the city.

The claim, a necessary precursor to a lawsuit, was denied Tuesday by the City Council.

In legal documents, attorneys for EcoPave California accused at least 14 city employees, including City Manager James C. Hankla, of leading the company astray with promises of easy permits.

"They romanced us to get us to come in, then ran into political problems and just dropped us," Steven Vance, EcoPave's president, said in an interview.

EcoPave's application for permits to build a plant at 6150 Paramount Blvd. was denied by council members last month after nearby residents complained that the plant would create dust and attract heavy truck traffic. Another possible site, at 1642 E. 32nd St., is still being considered by city staff and EcoPave, but it has also run into permit snags.

According to the claim, EcoPave has lost $930,000 in possible revenues, had $240,000 in overhead and staff time, spent $51,614 on various permits, and purchased custom-made equipment.

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