Shore v. Maple Lane Farms, LLC

411 S.W.3d 405 (2013)

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Shore v. Maple Lane Farms, LLC

Tennessee Supreme Court
411 S.W.3d 405 (2013)

  • Written by Tanya Munson, JD

Facts

Robert Schmidt, the owner of Maple Lane Farms, LLC (Maple Lane Farms) (defendant), hosted amplified music concerts during multi-week festivals held at the farm in the spring and fall. Between 2006 and 2008, festival activity increased at Maple Lane Farms, including helicopter tours and concerts held both in the day and at night. Velda Shore (plaintiff) owned property next to Maple Lane Farms. In 2007, Shore wrote to the Blount County building commissioner and compared living next to Maple Lane Farms to “living close to another Dollywood” and requested that Maple Lane Farms reasonably accommodate their neighbors and tone down their festivities. In 2008, the Blount County Board of Zoning Appeals (the board) decided that the Maple Lane Farm concerts were not supportive of agricultural use and thus only one concert per year was permitted. Schmidt’s attorney informed the board that Schmidt intended to disregard its decision, and Shore filed suit, alleging that the ongoing concerts at Maple Lane Farms were in violation of the board’s decision and therefore a nuisance per se. The trial court dismissed Shore’s complaint, finding that Maple Lane Farms was an active farm operation according to the Tennessee Right to Farm Act and Shore failed to rebut the presumption that a farming operation is not a nuisance. Shore appealed, and the court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of Shore’s complaint. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted Shore permission to appeal.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Koch, J.)

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