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Court affirms BOA action on Stuff Recycling

A judge ruled the Winchester Board of Adjustments acted appropriately in issuing restrictions on how Stuff Recycling uses its property.

The company had filed a lawsuit against the board and property owner Tresa Bridges claiming the board acted arbitrarily when it found the business had expanded its footprint by storing equipment in front of the buildings on the property.

In a seven page ruling wiled Wednesday, Clark Circuit Judge Brandy Oliver Brown found the board acted within its authority and provided Stuff its due process through a pair of public hearings.

Stuff Recycling, on Lexington Road, has generated significant local interest after a fire at the metal recycling business broke out in June 2018 and burned for three days.

A 2012 decision by the Board of Adjustments limited storage of equipment and material at the business to behind the front of the buildings facing Lexington Road. The business was also grandfathered as a legal non-conforming use in a B-4 zoned area. State statute and the local zoning ordinance prohibited a non-conforming use to expand operations from its original footprint.

The business later bought an adjoining lot and began using it for its recycling business, Brown wrote. While the business itself is permissible in the zone expanding operations onto the neighboring lot is an expansion of the business.

In October 2018, the board held a special hearing with testimony about whether Stuff had expanded its operations beyond its original footprint. The board ruled a month later, after deliberating in closed session, which was a violation of the state open meeting law. In January 2019, the board held another meeting where it deliberated in public and affirmed the original 2012 decision.

Brown said her order is not meant to restrict Stuff from engaging in other permissible operations within a B-4 zone, provided it does not expand or enlarge its footprint.

Stuff owner Jerry Joiner did not return a message seeking comment before press time.