Running a business means having the right permits, licenses and permissions in order. In many cases, local governments must approve certain aspects of the business, such as ensuring an area or building is zoned for the business before a company can set up shop. However, in the event that local government rules against letting a business operate due to zoning issues, the business owner may have reason to look into the issue further.
Minnesota residents may be interested in a legal dispute between two business owners and a local board of zoning appeals. According to reports, the business owners have been operating out of a building that was zoned for storage, and last year, they attempted to have the zoning status of the building changed to an assembly hall. The owners had reportedly been having events in the space already but did not have approval from the local government.
It was noted that complaints about noise coming from the space during these events prompted the owners to seek the formal zoning change. However, the board took a secret vote to deny the zoning change. The business owners feel that the board violated the law in the following ways:
- Conducting a secret vote that goes against Open Door Law, which requires meetings be open to the public
- Allowing a board member to vote despite that member having a relative who lived close to the venue, which created a conflict of interest
- Abusing the board’s power of discretion
The business owners filed a lawsuit that was recently ordered to mediation by the judge presiding over the case. It was noted that if the dispute cannot be settled through mediation, a trial would commence. Unfortunately, this type of difficulty between business owners and local government is not unusual, and if business owners in Minnesota face similar unjust setbacks regarding zoning, they may also want to consider their legal options.