Coalville Mink Farmer Sues County Over Fairground Construction Next Door

Apr 2, 2020

Summit County has been sued by the owner of a Coalville mink farm, who says his operation was damaged by construction activities on the neighboring County Fairgrounds.   

The lawsuit in Third District Court has been filed by Glen Black, the owner of the G & G Black Ranch.

He is asking for damages of $60,000.  The suit says he filed  suit after sending a Notice of Claim to the county and waiting the proper amount of time under Utah law.

The litigation says that on March 1st of 2018, he got notice that the county would begin construction on Fairground improvements next to his farm.    A few days later, the county agreed to halt construction while they attempted to work out an agreement with Black.

However, by the 21st of that month, the parties ceased negotiations without an agreement.    The county’s construction continued until late May.

The suit said the center of Black’s farm was about 158 feet from construction.   

It added that mink are very sensitive to light and noise during their birthing season of three-and-a-half months.   Because of that, a Coalville City ordinance doesn’t allow excavation near a mink farm from March 1st to mid-June without permission from a farm owner.   The city also requires that lights within 300 feet of a mink farm must be directed downward or away.

The lawsuit says that the construction activity caused the mink on his farm to suffer thousands of abortions and still births in April of that year.

The lawsuit is alleging a Taking of Property, Negligence and violations of Due Process.

Asked for a comment, County Attorney Margaret Olson wrote that they haven’t been served yet with the complaint.   But “We are aware of the Plaintiffs’ allegations and do not believe there is any claim in the lawsuit on which Plaintiffs can prevail.”