I am retired and live with my wife in what I thought was a bucolic neighborhood in beautiful Ohio City, that is, until now. We heard through the grapevine that a new business was coming into our city and bordering our neighborhood. There were some public hearings on this, but as retirees we don’t get around too well and didn’t think we would need to attend. It turns out the new business is a stone crushing plant owned by… let’s call them the “Bad Guys.”
Now every weekday, all day long, the Bad Guys are crushing stone for construction material. BANG, BANG, BANG… over and over and over again! There are engines of heavy equipment constantly roaring in the distance. There is no peace. Our heads are pounding. Even my dog is losing his mind. By the time it ends on Friday afternoon, I am on my last nerve. I can’t take it anymore. It is pure torture. It is driving me to drink. How can this be?
Dear Good Guy,
Drowning your sorrows won’t stop the Bad Guys from pounding and will only leave you with an even bigger headache. You and your poor dog are experiencing the effect of a zoning code favorable to industry. Construction materials have to be produced somewhere. The Bad Guys probably aren’t so bad.
In order to place that facility in your fine city, the Bad Guys had to obtain approval to operate under the terms of your city’s zoning code either as an approved use of that site or by variance. The Bad Guys’ proposed use was presented to the public. All interested parties had a chance to be heard and help develop solutions to issues of noise, dust and safety so that you “Good Guys” and those “Bad Guys” can coexist.
When you bought your home, you should have examined the possibility of what could be built near you especially the area zoned for industrial uses. At least the Bad Guys are restricted to weekdays. Certainly you may have a nuisance claim to consider, but if the Bad Guys are operating in conformance with the zoning code, you will have a battle on your hands.