A Fayette County judge on Thursday ordered Burgess Carey to cease offering canopy tours at Boone Creek Outdoors.
In the latest development in a two-year dispute between Fayette County regulators and the outdoor recreation center, Fayette Circuit Judge James Ishmael Jr. granted injunctive relief to the county government, ordering Carey and Boone Creek Properties to fully comply with a conditional-use permit issued in 2000.
"What we need to do is basically hit the pause button as far as where we are right now," Ishmael said at the hearing. However, he said he would not order Boone Creek to take down its zip lines pending consideration of other appeals.
Boone Creek, located near Interstate 75 and the Kentucky River, offers canopy tours featuring zip lines and suspended bridges through the forest, as well as hiking, fly fishing and lodging, among other activities.
In July, Lexington's Board of Adjustment filed for an injunction requesting that Boone Creek stop its canopy tours and discontinue advertising. According to the motion for the injunction, the company was violating a conditional-use permit for its property on Old Richmond Road, which has been zoned agricultural rural since 2000.
The original permit never discussed platforms, zip lines, trails or canopy tours, which Boone Creek now operates, according to court documents. However, John Park, Carey's attorney, said in July that there is nothing in the permit to limit the types of outdoor recreational activities Boone Creek could offer.
He also said in July that Carey had no plans to halt the canopy tours unless a judge told him to stop.
After the ruling Thursday, Park said his client was disappointed with the decision but would comply with the judge's orders. Carey will wait to review the order before deciding what to do next, he said.
At the hearing, Ishmael said irreparable harm was done to the Urban County Government because a citizen "willfully and flagrantly" chose not to comply, even after due process.
"I am not unaware of the significant and potential impact upon Mr. Carey and his family, I'm truly sorry about that," Ishmael said. However, any problems were brought on by Carey because of his decision to continue with the zip lines and canopy tours, the judge said.