Thursday, October 5, 2006
No horse racing without permit, judge says
By SUE WATSON
In an effort to enforce zoning ordinances, the Marshall County Board of Supervisors took defendants who were operating horse racing tracks in the county to Chancery Court last week.
Two sets of defendants, one operating a horse racing venture in supervisor Willie Flemon’s district on Humphrey Road and another operating a business on Petty Road, and their attorneys appeared before Chancellor Glenn Alderson Friday.
The matter was settled by a mutually agreed order, with Alderson ordering the case continued.
County board attorney Tacey Clark Clayton said Alderson refused to hear the case piecemeal.
“He said we are going to hear it all today, or we are not going to hear it,” Clayton said. “The defendants had not filed an application for a special exception with zoning to operate a business where you race horses.”
In the agreed order, Alderson said the case would be continued until defendants have fully exhausted all their administrative remedies before the Marshall County Planning Commission and the Marshall County Board of Supervisors.
Estaban Cancino and Jose C. Rodriguez, Thomas Tello and Tommy Reel were listed as defendants in the case.
What the order means is that the defendants must first file an application for a special exception with the zoning board, Clayton said.
“If the zoning board denies, the defendants can appeal to the board of supervisors,” Clayton said. “If they win there they can have their races. If they lose, they must appeal in circuit court.
“The judge included, and the parties agreed not to operate any business until all administrative remedies are exhausted.”
Clayton said the board of supervisors, by bringing this case before the court, are signalling they intend to enforce the zoning ordinances.
“The whole thing is the board of supervisors are simply trying to enforce zoning regulations which had been totally circumvented by the defendants,” she said.
The matter came to fore when residents living in the Humphrey Road and St. Paul Road areas complained to zoning and supervisors in early July this year that the events held at the two race tracks were creating noise and traffic problems in the their communities.
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