Man Threatens To Sue Mesa County

Mesa County Commissioners vote two–to-one to take legal action against a Palisade fruitgrower and business owner, saying his firewood operation violates zoning codes.

After hearing a report from planner Donna Rice today, the Commissioners spent another two hours hearing arguments from Jim Sterling, his supporters, and people who are opposed to his firewood operation. Sterling brought two pieces of firewood to the podium when he spoke, asking commissioners what the difference was between his wood and that of a nearby competitor who runs his operation under a conditional use permit.

Sterling says the wood business is agricultural and meets the definition of th zoning regulations of agriculture and forestry transitional...and is a way to keep his orchard running without taking a non-farming job.

Neighbors Jim Yoder and Margaret Delany say Sterling has not reduced the size of his operation as he promised, and the lot violates their right to peace and quiet.

Commissioner Craig Meis voted against legal action, calling it too extreme. Commissioner Janet Rowland said Sterling's wood business is strictly a code violation and voted to take Sterling to court. Commissioner Tillie Bishop agreed, saying if exceptions are made to code enforcement the county would be
in trouble.