SILVER SPRINGS -- Lyon County commissioners want staff to investigate alleged county code violations at a rural residence with a menagerie of animals before deciding whether to initiate a process to declare it a public nuisance.
Commissioner Chet Hillyard's motion to begin the public-nuisance process was changed when Commissioner David Fulstone questioned the need to pursue the same issue the board turned down in August.
"We have been through that. We did not find there was a nuisance there. We heard it once and dealt with it," Fulstone said.
In August, Tom and Leandra Carr presented the commissioners with a petition and testimony alleging the activities and businesses at 3160 Holly Ave. constituted a nuisance and are causing harm to neighboring lots. Signed by 18 people, the petition claimed the number of miscellaneous animals, including ducks, chickens, pea fowls, pigs, goats, emus and horses were not properly cared for and the resultant mess was causing an unbearable stench and invasion of flies throughout the rural neighborhood.
Last week's action left Leandra Carr frustrated with the process.
After the meeting, she said, "the sheriff's office has already investigated and said they didn't find anything. The commissioners are now asking them to do it again. I don't think it will go anywhere."
Property owner Jerry O'Dell and Ruby Mourer live on the parcel in question. In August they testified the complaint was unfounded and a witch-hunt by the Carrs, stating the 20-plus horses are well cared for and that they were not in violation of any county codes.
The commission voted 3-2 to deny pursuing a nuisance complaint, with commissioners Bob Milz, Phyllis Hunewill and Fulstone voting with the majority. However, at the Dec. 6 commission meeting, Milz asked the issue be reconsidered.
At the Dec. 20 meeting, Milz said, "We need to know what we can actually do if we do find it a nuisance. Unless we can clean up the problem, there is no sense putting it on the agenda."
Paula Campbell lives directly across the street from the property. She supports an investigation being done prior to making a decision.
"I would like everyone of you to visit to see what we are talking about. It is becoming a common thing in Silver Springs. We can't have people coming in and thinking this is common and accepted by our county commissioners," she told the board. "I would like it inspected by your own eyes."
The motion directing County Manager Stephen Snyder to initiate an investigation and return to the board with a proposed action relative to a public nuisance passed 4-1, with Fulstone voting in opposition.