WESTERN FARM PRODUCTS, LLC, INC.
SUMNER COUNTY, TN, ET AL.
Session May 3, 2016
from the Chancery Court for Sumner County No. 2011CV421 Joe
H. Thompson, Chancellor
property owner who wished to construct and operate a quarry
sought a declaratory judgment that a Sumner County Zoning
Resolution, which was alleged to exclude quarrying and mining
activities, is unconstitutional and in violation of the
Tennessee zoning enabling statutes. A group of adjoining
property owners were permitted to intervene in the
proceeding, and the court granted summary judgment to the
county and adjoining property owners. The property owner now
appeals. We find that the evidence relied upon by the
property owner does not establish that the ordinance at issue
prohibits all quarrying activities and affirm the trial
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery
V. White and George A. Dean, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellant, Western Farm Products LLC, Inc.
May Dennen, Gallatin, Tennessee; and A. Scott Derrick,
Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Sumner County,
M. Amonette, Gallatin, Tennessee, for the intervening
appellees, Thomas Neal, Jr., Lester Lonzo Luce, Carol Dee
Luce, John J. Simons, and Allyson Simons.
Richard H. Dinkins, J., delivered the opinion of the court,
in which Frank G. Clement, Jr., P.J., M.S., and Thomas R.
Frierson, II, J., joined.
RICHARD H. DINKINS, JUDGE
the second appeal in this case. In the first appeal, styled
Western Farm Products, LLC v. Sumner County, No.
M2013-01578-COA-R3-CV, 2014 WL 1852973 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 5,
2014), Western Farm Products, LLC ("Western")
appealed the dismissal of its petition for certiorari review
of the Sumner County Board of Zoning Appeals' denial of a
conditional use permit to operate a quarry on its 350 acres
of property which is currently zoned RIA, general
residential; we affirmed the trial court. On September 2,
2011, the same day it filed the petition for certiorari,
Western filed a declaratory judgment action naming Sumner
County ("the County") as defendant; no action was
taken on that case while the certiorari case was on appeal.
The instant appeal is from the trial court's grant of
summary judgment against Western in the declaratory judgment
sought a declaration that the Sumner County Zoning
Resolution, which operates as the county's zoning plan,
did not specifically permit mining and quarrying in the
county, and that the exclusion of these activities violated
the Tennessee Constitution and zoning statutes at Tennessee
Code Annotated section 13-7-101, et seq. Western
requested that the court, inter alia, issue an
injunction preventing the County from excluding mining and
quarrying activity and order the County to issue Western a
building permit or certificate of occupancy for the proposed
quarry. Thomas Neal, Jr., Lester Lonzo Luce and
wife, Carol Dee Luce, and John J. Simons and wife, Allyson
Simons, owners of property adjacent to Western's property
(the "Intervenors"), were allowed to intervene in
the case; they opposed Western's proposed use of its
property, contending that Western's proposal "to
operate a quarry with asphalt and concrete plants and rock
crushing facilities . . . would dramatically impact the
nature and value of [their] adjoining property, as well as
[their] peace and enjoyment of same."
course, the Intervenors moved for summary judgment,
contending that the action taken by the Sumner County Board
of Commissioners on May 19, 2014, to amend the Zoning
Resolution to create a floating district entitled the
"Mining and Quarrying Floating Zone, " which serves
as a floating zone over areas which are zoned Industrial,
permits the activities in which Western is engaged and,
therefore, rendered Western's action moot. The trial
court held that the Zoning Resolution, as amended, permitted
mining and quarrying and, consequently, granted summary
judgment to the Intervenors.Western appeals, raising the
following issue: "Whether the Sumner County Zoning
Regulations effectively excludes quarries from locating
within the county?"
I. STANDARD OF REVIEW
case, filed on September 2, 2011, was resolved on motion for
summary judgment. A party is entitled to summary judgment
only if the "pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits…show that there is no genuine issue as to
any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law." Tenn. R. Civ. P.
56.04. We review the trial court's ruling on
a motion for summary judgment de novo with no
presumption of correctness, as the resolution of the motion
is a matter of law. Rye v. Women's Care Ctr. of
Memphis, MPLLC, 477 S.W.3d 235, 250 (Tenn. 2015) (citing
Bain v. Wells,936 S.W.2d 618, 622 (Tenn. 1997);
Abshure v. Methodist Healthcare-Memphis Hosp., 325
S.W.3d 98, 103 (Tenn. 2010)). We view ...