Update 12:45 p.m.: The BZA will not hear the Demonbreun case today. The ruling by Judge Binkley is slated to be on the board's March 19 agenda.
As originally reported:
Circuit Court Judge Joe Binkley has ordered the Board of Zoning Appeals to grant Richard Demonbreun a special exception permit to host historic events at his home in Woodland-in-Waverly, after finding that the board acted with ulterior motives in denying his appeal last year.
Binkley stated in his ruling – which is available here – that BZA members Fabian Bedne, Chairman David Ewing, Vice Chair Dale Randels and Elizabeth Surface had “obvious biases” and “ulterior motives for denying Mr. Demonbreun’s permit application.”
Demonbreun was seeking a special exception permit so he could host historic events at the Demonbreun Home at 746 Benton Ave.
“… the real motive for the Board’s ultimate decision in this case is their clear dislike of the petitioner as evidenced by the above referenced statements, comments and questions by four of the board members.”
Demonbreun had appeared in front of the BZA several times before and had faced opposition from his neighbors, who say he isn’t following the board’s guidelines when he hosts events.
Binkley’s ruling quoted exchanges from the November meeting in which BZA members became combative with Demonbreun and appeared skeptical at a list of signatures from neighbors who supported his appeal.
Binkley ruled that the BZA shall grant Demonbreun his permit for 18 months, subject to renewal, and with a series of pre-established conditions.
The board will act on the ruling at its 1 p.m. meeting today.