- Associated Press - Friday, May 23, 2014

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) - A judge ordered a Muscatine motorcycle club to halt its plans for a large fundraising party, saying the event would violate local zoning ordinances.

The eastern Iowa chapter of the Sons of Silence Motorcycle Club was expecting as many as 300 people at its headquarters on May 30 for the “Eastern Iowa: We Ain’t Playing Possum Party.” A Muscatine County District Court judge halted the party on Thursday, the Muscatine Journal reported (https://bit.ly/S0AISq ).

Club president Cyle Geertz and Edward Zeman, who owns the property, told the judge that the group decided to host the party as a fundraiser to help pay for expenses such as property taxes on the clubhouse. They said the party would have included portable toilets, off-property parking, security and efforts to keep the noise down.

They also said it was a “bring your own beer” event, but that alcohol would be available.

The county asked the court to block the event, arguing that the plans weren’t in compliance with the property’s zoned use.

Judge Stuart Werling sided with the county, saying neighbors’ concerns override the club’s property rights. In his ruling, Werling wrote that the club’s intention to use the party to raise money to offset club costs is a violation of county zoning ordinances, which restrict such gatherings at locations zoned both residentially and commercially without a special permit.

“The County has no other sufficient remedy to protect the quiet enjoyment of the properties by the surrounding homeowners other than an injunction,” Werling wrote.

Pete Leehey, the club’s attorney, said the club was disappointed by the court’s ruling. He said the club will respect the decision and look for other fundraising options.


Information from: Muscatine Journal, https://www.muscatinejournal.com

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