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Dispute over ATV, cycle shop resolved

An agreement has been reached between Lester Horst and the Antrim Township Supervisors that will allow Horst to stay in business

An agreement has been reached between Lester Horst and the Antrim Township Supervisors that will allow Horst to stay in business

December 16, 2002|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE - The owner of an all-terrain vehicle and motorcycle repair shop on Coseytown Road can continue to run his business following an agreement this week with the Antrim Township Supervisors.

In October the township cited Lester Horst, owner of Horst Cycle Inc. at 4495 Coseytown Road, saying he violated the township's zoning ordinance when he opened the shop in 1983 in the rear of his property. The citation gave Horst 20 days to close his doors but the supervisors never pushed the deadline.

Horst could not be reached for comment Friday.

He said in October he believed the supervisors threatened to close his shop in an effort to pressure him to drop his plans to build an ATV park on his 45-acre property.

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Supervisor B.J. Roberts said Friday the township had to act on the violation because it had received complaints from neighbors.

Horst's ATV park plans drew the ire of dozens of neighbors, who hired an attorney, signed petitions and organized a protest against his proposal saying it would create traffic, noise and dust problems.

A public hearing on Horst's request for a zoning change was held in October. The supervisors later denied the request.

Teresa Schnoor, an Antrim Township administrator, said Horst and the supervisors signed the agreement this week.

The agreement, on file in the supervisors' office, limits the number of employees Horst can have, allows him to run his repair shop and use his existing ATV trails for recreation only without a fee and bans him from expanding the business.

Roberts said that when Horst opened his shop it was in violation of zoning laws but the township government was smaller then and lacked the personnel to monitor zoning law violations.

He said Horst's attorney argued and the supervisors agreed that since Horst had owned the shop for 19 years without interference from the township he should be allowed to continue.

Horst told the supervisors he would go to court to save his business if he had to. Roberts said the township's attorney advised the supervisors they would probably lose such a case.

"The supervisors never intended to close his business, but we received a complaint and we had to act on it," Roberts said.

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