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Shot Spot Owner’s Lawsuit Against County May Not Be Over

The two-and-a half-year battle between a local businessman and the Carroll County government may not be over, despite a superior court judge’s ruling against a civil suit filed by the owner of Shot Spot in January. Since 2016, John Paulk has asked Carroll County for a  zoning change away from agriculture to his property on Martin Cemetery Road.

In January, Carroll County Chief Superior Court Judge John Simpson ruled against Paulk’s lawsuit against the county and his proposed plan to build a skeet shooting range and event center. Judge Simpson said the range is not a permitted use under Carroll County’s zoning ordinance. Simpson also ruled that Paulk was not entitled to damages he was seeking from the county.

But on Thursday, a supreme court judge challenged Simpson’s ruling, granting Paulk’s application for discretionary appeal in this case. The court said they were particularly concerned with: Did the trial court err in its interpretation of section 8.1 of the Caroll County zoning ordinance?

Paulk had previously argued that section 8.1 in the county’s zoning ordinance was too vague in its regard of permitted uses of land zoned for agriculture. He has argued that his planned shooting facility is similar to a hunting and fishing club, which falls under the ordinance. However, Judge Simpson in January did not agree.

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