Photo Credit: NCM Motorsports Park
The National Corvette Museum will have its day in court on Nov. 17, hoping to have a $100 a day fine from the Warren County Code Enforcement Board nullified.
Warren District Judge John Brown scheduled the hearing, during which the NCM is expected to argue that the fine was issued arbitrarily and that it is being discriminated against.
“The Code Enforcement Board has never before required any other landowner to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy on land,” the NCM said in legal paperwork associated with the appeal. “Rather, Certificates of Occupancy have been required only in relation to buildings. The National Corvette Museum is the first and only property owner that the Code Enforcement Board has ever cited for failure to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy related to land.”
The fine dates back to Sept. 9 when the code enforcement board also mandated that the NCM turn into the City-County Planning Commission of Warren County a revised Detailed Development Plan to be approved by said commission, and that all construction at the Motorsports Park and all events at the park stop until the DDP is approved.
NCM attorney Charles E. “Buzz” English Jr., argues that the code enforcement board exceeded its authority by issuing those mandates.
“The Code Enforcement Board hearing should have been confined to a determination of whether the National Corvette Museum violated Zoning Ordinance Section 3.4, i.e., whether the citation was properly issued,” the court filing said. “Instead, the hearing extended well beyond the scope of the citation to an evaluation of the Detailed Development Plan and Binding Elements.”
NCM officials maintain they have lived up to the legal requirements to remain open and are asking Judge Brown to reverse the action of the code enforcement board.
Of course, the whole matter really pertains to the noise levels generated by park users that nearby residents say have disrupted their lives. During another hearing today at 9 a.m. before Judge John Grise, the NCM will fight a possible permanent injunction and a punitive and compensatory damages claim because of the vehicle noise.
Last Friday, NCM Executive Director Wendell Strode and Planning Commission Executive Director Steve Hunter spent several hours each on the stand answering questions from English and Chris Davenport, attorney for Residents Against Motorsports Track Noise LLC, as well as Judge Grise.
Clark Circle residents and the planning commission are seeking a ruling from Grise on a request for a temporary restraining order and a permanent injunction that would close the park down. They are also asking for compensatory and punitive damages from the NCM to be determined by trial.
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