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Cops and Courts

Grafton Township Trustees file injunction against Jailhouse Taverne to block outdoor concerts

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    The Jailhouse Taverne is at state routes 83 and 57 in Grafton Township.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE FILE

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ELYRIA — The Grafton Township Board of Trustees has filed a motion for an injunction against Jailhouse Taverne to block the business from outdoor concerts.

The trustees recently filed the motion, which claims the “defendants are conducting/permitting the conducting of prohibited land use activities, ie. outdoor musical entertainment or any like/similar activities upon said property in violation of … the Grafton Township Zoning Resolution,” according to court documents. The motion also said Jailhouse Taverne “will continue to do so unless restrained by this court.”

The court documents also said Jailhouse Taverne had scheduled outdoor musical entertainment for May, June, July, August and September of this year, despite being served with a notice of zoning violation by the township in October.

A copy of the violation notice was included with the filed motion. The notice was filed Oct. 10 by township Zoning Inspector Tom Steigerwald.

The notice said “the use of this outdoor musical entertainment must cease immediately and can no longer be continued in order to avoid any further legal proceedings.” The motion said the “defendants have refused or failed to comply” with the notice.

The motion for the injunction is just the latest in a battle between the two sides that has gone on for years.

The two sides went back and forth in 2017 after the bar and restaurant began holding outdoor music concerts on its property. Residents in the township began complaining to township officials about the noise levels coming from the performances.

The trustees eventually passed a noise resolution that banned any noise or sound that is “plainly audible at a distance of 100 feet or more from the property from which the noise emanates.” Soon after, an employee at The Jailhouse Taverne, John Taylor, was issued a citation for “excessive noise” by the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office.

In March, the case was thrown out of Elyria Municipal Court because the court ruled Taylor was not one of the three individuals who might be liable under the resolution. The resolution said the people liable were any person making the noise, the landowner and the lawful occupant.

The two sides appeared to come to a resolution last year, but the township trustees have said Jailhouse quickly stopped following the agreement.

A hearing on the permanent injunction is scheduled to take place May 22 before Judge Chris Cook.

Contact Scott Mahoney at (440) 329-7146 or smahoney@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.


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