Judge: Business violates zoning
The parties have been going on since 1979.
By ED RUNYAN
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- A judge in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court has ruled that Kay's Country Home, a Hartford home for sexually oriented adult activities, violates the township zoning code.
Officials do not know whether the business, which has apparently continued to operate despite its recent legal setbacks, will close.
Mark Finamore, the township's legal adviser, says the business has 30 days from the ruling to appeal to the 11th District Court of Appeals, but after that, the township would pursue additional options to close it.
Neither Kay Hovis, owner of the business, nor her attorney, Robert Bouffard, could be reached to comment on Judge Andrew Logan's recent ruling.
Finamore said there was no legal way to shut down the business while Common Pleas Court Judge Andrew Logan was hearing the case, so it has stayed open.
Hovis, 66, appealed a decision by the Hartford Township Board of Zoning Appeals in 2004 that denied the business a conditional-zoning permit.
Hovis said she wanted the permit so she could continue having private in-home adult parties. She and Bouffard told the board she has been having the parties in her home since 1979.
2 governments involved
In the ruling, Judge Logan said Hovis' argument that the business could not be denied a permit for something it has done for many years without previous interruption was not applicable in this case because one part of the dispute involves a township government.
Such an argument has been successfully used in cases involving private parties, but only in one case involving a government entity, Finamore explained. That case involved two government entities, he said.
Bouffard argued that the type of business Hovis operates should be allowed under the zoning regulations.
However, Judge Logan said Kay's Country Home is not the kind of business the creators of the zoning ordinance imagined when they wrote it.
Previously, Hovis has said the business is a "place for couples to meet. A husband and wife get in a routine. When you are courting a woman, you are very attentive, and after being married, you get inattentive. We sit around, talk about how to make things better. & quot;
The home is at 2061 state Route 7 in a residentially zoned area. Hovis testified during the appeals board hearing that she has about 15 to 20 couples at her parties.
In the 25 years that Hovis has been holding her parties, there have been few complaints, township officials have said.