Friday, March 28, 2008

Idexx v. Pike Cliffnotes

I've picked through the three articles dealing with the mess that is Pike Industries v. Idexx Laboratories (here, here, and here) and have created a rough timeline of the brouhaha surrounding Pike's plans for expansion on Spring Street:
  • Mayor Bruce Chuluda proposes a change in zoning to 'light manufacturing' that'll effectively stymie Pike's plans for expansion on Spring Street.
  • City Councilor Brendan Rielly grouses about Idexx's complaints about Pike's expansion.
  • Pike blames Idexx for muddling an expansion plan that was initially received favorably by the City of Westbrook.
  • Mayor Bruce Chuluda says the city had planned to change the zoning of the area to 'light manufacturing' before Pike announced its expansion plans, and pooh-poohs Pike's allegation that the city knew (and approved) of their expansion plans before Idexx raised a stink about it.
  • Idexx announces it has halted work on its expansion plans.
  • Pike complains the Mayor's proposal for a zoning change would render the site of its proposed expansion worthless, and is questioning the legality of such a zoning change.
  • Idexx points out that a change in zoning to 'light manufacturing' in the area was one of the factors the company considered before it announced its expansion and job growth in the Westbrook in 2006.
  • City Councilor Rielly forces Idexx officials to admit zoning was not discussed in the city's negotations with the biotech firm prior to the 2006 announcement.
  • City Councilor John O'Hara accuses Idexx of not living up to its original vision of the area (Idexx initially planned to construct an administrative building across the street from its original building--the former Sanmina building--on the corner of Eisenhower Drive and Saco Street, but they're now simply adding the administrative offices to their original building).
  • Idexx contends it doesn't matter where on Eisenhower Drive the adminstrative buildings are built. They don't want Pike's expansion to ruin the "bucolic and beautiful" image of the area.
  • Pike proposes to mitigate the noise, dust, and odor associated with its industry.
  • Idexx doesn't care about Pike's efforts to mitigate the noise, dust, and odor. They simply don't want an asphalt plant as its neighbor.
  • Idexx threatens to leave Westbrook ("[t]here are lots of business parks in the Greater Portland area").
  • Committee of the Whole, a committee of the City Council, votes to table Mayor Chuluda's proposal for a zoning change.
  • D&G Machine Products expresses concern the Mayor's proposed zoning change will hamper its business.
  • Mayor Chuluda is unsure of how stubborn Idexx will be and expresses concern about the future of Idexx's plans in Westbrook.
  • Idexx reiterates its preference for rezoning and says its beef lies with the city, not Pike.
  • City Councilor O'Hara expresses his wariness for the city to be involved.

- John C.L. Morgan

P.S. Full disclosure: My wife is employed by Idexx.

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