MARION, Ind. -- A property owner plans to reopen his mudding business after a judge ruled in his favor, saying he can use the property to host events.
Junior Stone and his niece, Haley Mullins, contacted the CBS4 Problem Solvers last year after they couldn't get Grant County's approval to continue hosting concert and mudding, or mud bogging, events at their venue, called The Mudd Yard.
"I (saw) it was something that the community really liked and had a good time, and so that’s when we decided to open it up as 'The Mudd Yard,'" Stone said in February 2019.
Stone began hosting the events, which allow people to drive their vehicles through mud, in 2016. After complaints from neighbors, the Grant County Board of Zoning Appeals made a move to shut Stone down and subsequently denied his application for a special exemption two years in a row.
Stone hired Brianna Schroeder, an attorney with Janzen Agricultural Law, to file a formal appeal against the BZA in court.
"Generally speaking, we in Indiana don’t like our local zoning rules to be aimed at a specific person or a specific property use," Schroeder said.
A judge agreed, issuing a ruling on December 26 in Stone's favor. The judge said in part, "...Stone is entitled to operate his property as (The Mudd Yard)..."
Grant County has filed an appeal with the Indiana Court of Appeals, but until a decision is made there, Schroeder said the lower court's ruling allows Stone to begin hosting events at the property again.
"If this decision stands, it would clear the way for him to continue using the property the way he has in the past," Schroeder said.
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