LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The owners of Dinos Foodmart are calling for the Metro government to clear the property on 26th Street and West Broadway.
Attorneys for the 24-hour gas station / supermarket, who had received more than 500 police calls in the past year, ranging from shootings to drugs to prostitution, appealed the eviction order in August. The appeal lists 15 reasons why the city cannot close the store, including "lack of process" due to bias and prejudice.
"You can't claim that a third party committing a crime on your property – they come into your grocery store and commit a crime – you can't hold that against the grocer who actually calls the police for their help," said Nader George Shunnarah, who represents Dino's owners and property owners, "They have never been charged with criminal offenses – the civil offense they are accused of is a nuisance."
Dino & # 39; s was classified as a public nuisance in early April due to multiple quotes about criminal activity on the property. According to Chapter 156.057 of the Louisville Metro Code of Ordinances, a public nuisance can be defined as: "Any premise or location where law enforcement officers have indicted or arrested persons more than once in the previous 12 months in violation of the Prostitution, Gambling Act , Selling or using alcoholic beverages in or out of licensed or unlicensed premises, trafficking in marijuana or controlled substances, or offenses under CRS Chapter 218A. "
"No owner of residential, commercial, or vacant real estate on the Louisville Metro shall allow their property to be used as a location for public harassment after being notified, pursuant to this chapter, that the property has been used for public hiring annoying ", says the regulation. "A lawful or fair owner of such property is assumed to be aware of such activity upon receipt of the notice described in this chapter."
Dinos Food Mart was allowed to stay open while the owners' lawyers appeal an order to evict the Metro government.
The owners of Dino & # 39; s appeared outside Codes and Regulations on July 24th to appeal the public harassment notice, but their appeal was denied. Codes and Regulations then issued a final order to the station, meaning the city would issue an eviction order if the company received any further notice.
Citing three public "qualifying events" that have occurred since Dino's appeal hearing, Codes and Regulations issued an order on August 19 to vacate the premises "immediately" along with a $ 400 civil penalty. These "qualifying events" were two cases of fourth degree assault, one on July 25th and the other on August 8th, and one case of synthetic drug possession on August 8th, under the order waiver.
City leaders and members of the Russell Neighborhood Community, including 5th Ward Councilor Donna Purvis, have urged the shop to close over violent crime concerns.
"They speak of more than a thousand runs in less than two years, a year and a half, by the fire department, police and emergency services," Purvis told WDRB News in August. "That's a lot of wasted resources that can be used elsewhere, and that's what I think is taxpayer's money abuse."
“If you are not in control of your own business, parking lot, or facility, you are a problem. They are a nuisance for the neighbors, ”added Sherry Jacob, who lives next door and whose yard is adjacent to Dinos parking lot.
Jacob told WDRB News that she would be fine with Dino's stay if work hours were reduced. She said the crime affects more than just Dino's customers – it affects their sense of security in their home.
"If it was going to be a 24-hour operation, I would definitely love to see her around," she added.
Dino & # 39; s Food Mart on 26th and West Broadway
However, Shunnarah said that many people want the grocery market to stick to its current hours.
"I can provide you with a list of 500 people who are signing a petition claiming that dinosaurs should remain open." he added.
The gas station's appeal lists Mayor Greg Fischer, Code Enforcement Officer Jeremy Kirkham, the Louisville Metro Code Enforcement Board, and Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron as defendants. Fischer's office, Codes and Regulations, and Louisville Forward, a business and community development organization within the Metro government, have not responded to WDRB News' request for comment on the appeal.
Dino & # 39; s was allowed to remain open during the appeal process. If the owners lose appeal, they will have to pay the $ 400 fine and the city will work out a schedule for the company to be evicted.
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