Janesville45.5°

Coon Creek stays in the hunt—for now

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ANN MARIE AMES
February 25, 2010
— Coon Creek Sportsmans Club will be able to operate as normal through the spring season, even though the Beloit Town Board in January revoked the business’s conditional-use permit.

Rock County Judge James Welker on Wednesday ordered the club be allowed to operate without a permit until a trial on the question of whether the club needs a conditional-use permit to operate. The trial is scheduled for April 29.


Welker said the hunt club and Toubl Game Farm, which is paid to provide game birds to the club, would be harmed if the club was not allowed to operate. The farm would be left with 1,500 pheasants that would be difficult to sell elsewhere this time of year, said Coon Creek Manager Mike Toubl.


Coon Creek would not be able to keep contracts with hunters for the rest of the season, Toubl said.


Coon Creek allows hunts through March 31. In mid-May, Toubl plants crops and native grasses as feed and ground cover for the birds, he said.


The club operates on 280 acres at 4605 St. Lawrence Ave., Beloit, and on 250 acres on Spring Creek and Paddock roads, according to court documents. Both properties are in Beloit Township.


Town of Beloit Administrator Bob Museus said on the witness stand Wednesday the town would be harmed if the club’s request for a restraining order was granted because it would prevent the town from enforcing its ordinances.


Welker said the greater harm would come to the sportsmans club if the restraining order wasn’t granted.


“It seems to me the plaintiffs may very well be harmed,” Welker said. “I don’t see any harm to the township.”


The town board revoked the club’s conditional-use permit in January after Toubl was found guilty in municipal court in 2009 on two counts of failing to comply with his permit.


Toubl was using a new building, which was permitted for agricultural use, as a clubhouse for the sportsmans club, according to police records.


The town first issued a conditional-use permit to the business in 2007. The board required Toubl to apply for the permit after the town determined Toubl was running commercial rather than recreational hunts at the preserve.


The permit is required because the property is zoned agricultural, Museus has said. Recreational hunting is allowed on agriculture property, but commercial hunting requires a permit, Museus said Wednesday in court.


The town board renewed the permit in 2008. At the time, some neighbors complained the business was a nuisance. Toubl complained that the town was unfairly restricting his business.



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