Monroe County and its plan commission are taking a private property owner to court over what they say is unauthorized development along the shores of Lake Monroe.
Joe Huff owns nearly 250 acres of property between Shady Side Drive and the lake’s shores.
The county says that land is within an Environmental Constraints Overlay Zone, which requires certain permits for excavation and construction. Court documents say all development proposals must include plans to minimize erosion and runoff.
The county claims Huff or his contractors removed trees and constructed at least two buildings on the property without obtaining the necessary permits or approvals.
The lawsuit asks the court, among other things, to issue a permanent and immediate injunction stopping the Huffs from maintaining, using or occupying the buildings until getting county approval. It also asks the court to make the Huffs remove the buildings if they don’t get those approvals.
The county says each day the Huffs continue work on the property without a land use certificate, site plan approval, or an improvement location permit should constitute three violations.
Monroe County code stipulates those who violate a local ordinance can be fined up to $1,000 on the first day, $2,500 on the second day, and $7,500 for the third and each succeeding day, if ordered by the court.
An attorney for Huff did not respond to a request for comment.
In a separate case, Huff’s neighbors are suing him over logging activity on the property. The Court of Appeals recently removed an injunction in that case, allowing the logging to continue. A hearing in the ongoing legal battle is set for next week in Monroe County court.