Supreme Court Rules That Nuisance Suit Against Farm That Hosts Music Concerts May Proceed

Monday, August 19, 2013

In a unanimous opinion, the Tennessee Supreme Court held that the Right to Farm Act does not bar a homeowner’s nuisance lawsuit against a farm that hosted amplified music concerts. 

Velda Shore retired to a subdivision in rural Blount County in 2003.

The subdivision was adjacent to Maple Lane Farms, which was owned and operated by Robert Schmidt. In addition to raising crops and livestock, Mr. Schmidt hosted spring and fall festivals that included a variety of public attractions, including music concerts. 

Ms. Shore complained to county officials about the noise and traffic caused by the concerts. In 2008, the Blount County Board of Zoning Appeals decided that Mr. Schmidt could hold only one concert per year at Maple Lane Farms. After Mr. Schmidt ignored the board’s decision, Ms. Shore filed suit alleging that the concerts were a nuisance and violated local zoning regulations. 

The Chancery Court for Blount County dismissed Ms. Shore’s suit based on its conclusions that the Tennessee Right to Farm Act shielded Mr. Schmidt from nuisance liability and that all the activities at Maple Lane Farms were exempted from local zoning regulations. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court, concluding that the activities on the farm met the state’s legal definition of agritourism and were permitted. 

The Supreme Court granted Ms. Shore’s appeal and reversed the dismissal of her case. The Court decided that the Right to Farm Act did not apply to the music concerts at Maple Lane Farms because they were not connected to the production of crops and livestock. The Court also decided that Ms. Shore had presented enough evidence to permit her nuisance claim to proceed. Finally, the Court determined that the concerts were not exempted from the local zoning regulations.

Northwest Georgia’s Unemployment Rate Unchanged At 5.6 Percent In October

The Georgia Department of Labor announced on Thursday that the unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region in October was 5.6 percent, unchanged from September. The rate in October 2014 was 6.8 percent. While the rate was unchanged, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance rose by 741, or 29.1 percent, to 3,291 in October. Most of the increase was due ... (click for more)

October 2015 County Unemployment Rates

County unemployment rates for October 2015, released Wedesday, show the rates decreased in 90 counties, increased in four, and remained the same in one county. Specific county information for October is available on the Internet .   Davidson County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate in October at 4.2 percent, down from September’s rate of 4.6 percent. Knox ... (click for more)

Darrel Jones, 43, Shot And Killed On Central Avenue; Benson Critical In Another Of New Wave of Chattanooga Shootings

Darrel Jones, 43, was shot and killed on Central Avenue on Thursday afternoon. Then, early Friday morning, 34-year-old Desmond Benson was shot, leaving him in critical condition. as a wave of new Chattanooga shootings continued over the Thanksgiving holidays.  Chattanooga Police responded to the 3600 block of Central Avenue around 3 p.m. on a report of a ... (click for more)

Family Escapes Early Morning House Fire

A home was damaged by fire early Thursday morning.  The Chattanooga Fire Department received a fire call at  3:48  a.m.  and responded to 1825 Dixon Street with four fire companies. The family inside the home was awakened by a passerby knocking at the door. All of them quickly made their way outside the home to safety.  Once firefighters ... (click for more)

An Extra Helping Of Gratitude

After being thankful for the grace of God, my family and good health, this year I have an extra helping of gratitude to live in a special place called Chattanooga.   We endured the trauma of terrorism on July 16 and emerged more united and stronger than ever before.  We claim our heritage and celebrate our diversity like no other city in America.  We honor our ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Cometh ‘The Black Dog’

I am one of 350 million people in the world who suffers from clinical depression. The doctors trace it back to my first decade of the 21 st century when constant surgeries and infections knocked me loopy but the more I have found, I believe I am more like Sir Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln and pro football star Terry Bradshaw – I think I have had it all my life. Today it ... (click for more)