Discussion on hold amid complaints

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SILVER SPRINGS -- Complaints about flies and manure may still be in the air, but the public discusion is on hold.

A lawsuit challenging Lyon County's denial of a business license to a Silver Springs property owner has put a lid on public discussion regarding alleged business-license violations and health-related nuisance complaints.

County Commissioners on Thursday determined it would be inappropriate to pursue a planned discussion of options regarding complaints against horse-related business activities by Jerry and Ruby O'Dell while court action is pending.

The county has 45 days to submit a written response to the O'Dell suit, filed in Lyon County's Third Judicial District Court on Sept. 27. The Carrs and O'Dells attended the Thursday commission meeting, but offered no comment.

Tom and Leandra Carr and other neighbors have been at odds with the O'Dell's since 1999. The Carrs claim county ordinances were being ignored along with health concerns regarding flies and odors.

The O'Dells have about 40 horses and an assortment of goats, sheep and pigs on their 10 acres, which is zoned as two five-acre parcels. They deny assertions they are operating an illegal business.

Neighbors submitted a petition in August 2001 requesting the county cite the O'Dell property as a nuisance. Commissioners voted it down 3-2.

In August of this year, commissioners reviewed evidence presented to them by the county business-license division and determined a license was required, but denied the O'Dell's subsequent application.

The Carrs and others attended the Sept. 19 commission meeting to complain the business still was operating and charged District Attorney Leon Aberasturi with ignoring their concerns.

In response, Aberasturi said that because of the commissioners' denial of the petition last year he could not address the complaint as a nuisance, but was investigating business-license violations.

"I can understand (the Carr's) frustration, but I have to follow the law and build the best case we can regarding the business-license violation," he said in response to charges of inaction.

The board asked County Manager Stephen Snyder to look into the situation and submit a status report at the Thursday meeting.

In the interim, the O'Dells filed their suit, suing the county for costs and asking for a judicial determination concerning the rights and duties with respect to their horse business and a declaration they are lawfully using their property.


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