Beech Bend Lawsuit Dismissed

By  | 

A lawsuit against Beech Bend Raceway Park former county Planning Commission Director Andy Gillies and Warren Fiscal Court, has been thrown out.

Baker's suit claimed the city was allowing Beech Bend to hold events, even though it is zoned as "agricultural" property only.

Federal judge, Thomas B. Russell threw out the suit because he said the Fiscal Court is shielded by two forms of immunity.

He also said Baker cannot sue over non-enforcement of a zoning regulation.

"A little disappointed but not surprised. We knew it was something the judge could consider in this case," Baker said.

"On behalf of the county, we're happy the court ruled in our favor. We thought that the case had little legal effect on the county," said Buzz English, Warren County's attorney in the matter.

Property owner, Matt Baker said while this lawsuit against Beech Bend Raceway Park and former City-County Planning Commission Executive-Director Andy Gillies may have been thrown out, the issue is far from dead.

His complaint in the suit is that Beech Bend is registered as agricultural property and cannot be used for a race track or other events.

"I think it's clear Beech Bend is operating in an agricultural district and is grandfathered in by way of its planning and zoning requirements. In my opinion, it's not entitled to expand its use," Baker said.

Baker said he will now file a complaint with the county's Code Enforcement Office as Federal Judge Thomas B. Russell suggested during Monday's hearing.

Attorney for the county, Buzz English said he hopes the dismissal of this suit will open up the lines of communication.

"However, we are hopeful that now that this case has been dismissed, it'll open the doors to finding a resolution to the problem that Mr. Baker, Dallas Jones and Beech Bend are experiencing," English said.

Baker said he is scheduled to meet with Beech Bend representatives in April to once again try to reach an agreement.

He notes that he will likely file another lawsuit if the Code Enforcement office does not enforce the agricultural restrictions on the park.