LAKE ANDES -- Following the denial of a claim for summary judgment on Sept. 30, the city of Lake Andes can take its case against a man hoping to expand a feedlot to trial.
Based on information presented at a Sept. 16 hearing, Judge Bruce Anderson determined that expansion to Chad Svatos' land would become a nuisance when considered in combination with five factors: the feedlot's location 0.6 miles south of the city, the damage to roads compared to the $600 the county would receive in tax revenue, devaluation of nearby property, a "very powerful and offensive odor" and possible pollution caused by discharge of waste.
According to court documents, Svatos has operated a feedlot on the same land since 1993, but the city filed its case against him in July 2018 after he obtained financing and a building permit to expand the lot to accommodate up to 999 head of cattle. Svatos argued as grounds for summary judgment that he wasn't in violation of a zoning ordinance and that state law protected his operation from being declared a public nuisance.
After doing more research, the city found it didn't have a legal argument to support its claim that it had extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction, and the zoning claim against Svatos was dismissed.
While the court reasoned that the feedlot and five other factors created a nuisance, Anderson wrote that there wasn't an adequate record to resolve the conflicting claims from the two sides, creating a question of material fact and leading him to deny Svatos' motion for summary judgment.
Svatos' motion for attorney's fees was also denied, with the reasoning that Svatos had been denied summary judgment and the city had not acted frivolously or maliciously when filing its lawsuit.