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Air Cannons: Avon Lake Residents Can Take Legal Action

Avon Lake residents can file an injunction against Avon farm, since agricultural district permit has expired.

The owner of a vineyard  that threaten his crop, might have his cannon silenced after the Avon Lake Law Director discovered his permit providing protection expired on Dec. 31, 2011.

Greg Zilka said at the Sept. 10 council meeting that residents of Avon Lake can now file an injunction to stop the cannons from going off all night long, since a permit is not in place.

The issue has come to a head in the past few weeks after residents in Avon Lake began complaining to not only members of Avon Lake City Council, but to the that the cannons, which go off every 50 seconds all night long, were keeping them up at night.

The cannons belong to Schober Vineyards, located across from , between Jaycox and Lear roads and within earshot of southeast Avon Lake homes.

Avon Planning coordinator Jim Piazza said two weeks ago the vineyard owner, Ed Schober, was within his legal rights to used the cannon under the protection of a permit classifying the vintage as an agricultural district under the Ohio Revised Code.

Avon Lake Law Director Abe Lieberman, however, conducted some research and discovered the Schober’s permit expired at the end of 2011.

Zilka said he called Avon Mayor Jim Smith to notify him of the expired permit.

“He said, ‘We’ll grandfather him in,’” Zilka said.

Zilka said, however, that it could take awhile before the permit was renewed and noted that  while the city’s government is powerless to do anything about the situation, an Avon Lake resident can file an injunction.

“(They) can take some action and get this reversed,” Zilka said, noting there was significant frustration over the situation.

He also noted the growing season is over in approximately 10 more days.

Lieberman said it would require an Avon Lake resident to hire a lawyer to file the injunction against the vineyard.

Developing story. Check back later to see if comments are available from Avon officials orSchober Farms representatives.

Nick Perry September 11, 2012 at 11:20 AM
Those vineyards were there much longer then the housing developmemts..
440patty September 11, 2012 at 12:22 PM
These people that bought these high dollar homes in the country should enjoy it. Or move to the city and quit complaining.
Laurie September 11, 2012 at 12:59 PM
I have heard those cannons while hitting golf balls at the range - I can't imagine having to listen to them all night every night.
Nick Perry September 11, 2012 at 01:00 PM
and i live in avon lake...
MomX4 September 11, 2012 at 01:34 PM
this is ridiculous!! let him save his crops...he has the legal right to do so. they are his crops...his life!! come on people...think!!! it's tough enough out there right now....you want to go and put a farmer, who has been there forever, long before your new houses, out of business?
Avon-Laker September 11, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I agree... assuming the farm has been using the cannons before the development was built, they should be able to do what they want to to protect their property. You don't build a development near a highway and expect them to stop traffic at night now that you are there.
AMH September 11, 2012 at 01:46 PM
AGREED. Leave the poor guy alone. It's ten more days. And hopefully he'll get his permit renewed. The guy is just trying to save his crop. I'm sure most of these people are used to the noise and barely waking, if at all, at this point. The body adjusts. Apparently whining doesn't go away though.
Ted Uebbing September 11, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Live and let live
Jeff September 11, 2012 at 02:42 PM
What was the entire period of use of air cannons? Start date / End date...
Barbara Schober September 11, 2012 at 06:23 PM
I am the wife of the Grape Grower with the air cannon. As of this time (2:00 pm, 09/11), the air cannon has been retired and will NEVER be fired again. I would just like you to know that we lost 90% of our crop due to frost in the Spring and we were only trying to save the remaining 10%. Truly, my husband was not trying to make enemies, but only to save the remaining crop that he works all year long to harvest.
Avon-Laker September 11, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Barbara,what a shame it has come to this for you. Avon Lake is fortunate enough to have your business here in town and not bull-dozed over for another home development. I hope you won't give up and can make it through this season. Best of luck to you.
Kim V September 11, 2012 at 06:47 PM
barbara, i truly am sorry! this was not the outcome i had hoped for
MomX4 September 11, 2012 at 07:02 PM
oh no :( This is a shame....definitely not the outcome I wanted to see happen.
Karen T September 11, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Well, if you look at it that way, the DEER AND OTHER LITTLE CRITTERS were there before the vineyards, too. (And I'm an Avon Lake resident, too). I'm not saying the deer (or other critters) should be left to run amok, but saying the vineyards were there before the housing developments is just a weak excuse to keep those quiet that are complaining. They have a right to their views.
G.W. September 11, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Maybe.....just maybe.......if hunting was legal here .........there would be a natural balance..........hmmmmmmm
AvonLaker1234 September 12, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Gotta love the "Crypt Keeper" lookin' mayor of Avon Lake having his crack legal staff find a way to screw a poor farmer not in his voting area. Perhaps we could use the time of city staff in a better purpose? Oh, wait...they can't explain the need for a fire levy nor find a means to solve fiscal woes without asking for more taxes.
AvonLaker1234 September 12, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Good point...let's get an early deer season here to curtail the rats of suburbia (aka deer)!
MomX4 September 12, 2012 at 12:42 AM
yep you're right...let's see...we can't cull the deer and now we can't scare them off...what are we to do? There is a big problem with the deer...they had every right to be able to use those cannons to save their crop!
Hans September 12, 2012 at 02:43 AM
EB, He was offered an incredible amount of money for his property. I understand your defense, but there are other ways of detering critters. He or his fellow farmers sold their property for a hefty sum. Nobody wants to see this farmer go out of business, actually love the agriculturial atmospere.
Lisa September 12, 2012 at 12:53 PM
If anyone read the article in the Press the farmer was offered a SIGNIFICANT amount of money for his land and he turned it down. I am not saying money can buy happiness but maybe you should try listening to something that sounds like a gunshot every 50 seconds outside of your window for years. We have 3 kids under 6 and even bought white noise machines for their rooms and it doesn't matter. The train that runs through our backyard doesn't wake them but the cannon sure does. There would be no way to ever sell our home if a prospective buyer heard that noise. And no, we don't live in a "high dollar" home as commented on above. How are all of the other vineyards in Avon Lake and the immediate area combating the animal/pest nuisance on their farms? There is another vineyard at the end of our street and they are not using a cannon to keep animals away. There has to be another answer for this problem the farmer faces. I saw the story Channel 5 did on this last Friday. The farmer seems like a nice guy and I don't want to see him lose his livelihood. There has to be another answer for him besides the cannon. Maybe those of you that feel this cannon has the right to shoot it off 24/7 should spend the night in our neighborhood and then try to function as a normal person the next day. It is not possible when one does not get an ounce of sleep at night due to this nuisance.
Hans September 12, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Erin B, They obviously did not and do not have the legal right to use the cannon or they would still be using it. This is the law and we must abide. There are other methods for protecting your crop without noise pollution that can be heard in three adjacent cities. Nobody wants to this this family go out of business. You and others have no clue what it like to have this cannon go off every 20 seconds while trying to sleep, and no, the body does not adjust(AMH). So quit whinning (AMH) about the illegal problem and be a proactive, solutions oriented advocate for this farmer!
Wmt September 12, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Give it up Lisa. He was there before your development. Don't feel a bit sorry for you. You should have visited your lot/ home before you bought. We did, and made it a point to go at all times , even at 11 pm. We found the hum from the Geon (then named) plant, at night, to not be acceptable. So we looked somewhere else, and found something else quieter. Put a mans livelihood at stake because you chose to live somewhere that now you find unacceptable. So what he didn't accept money for his property. Maybe he loves his livelihood. He should put that at risk for those who made poor choices? This is the problem with America, selfishness and not taking responsibility.
Avon-Laker September 12, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Strongly agree. No one would think about telling the Ford Plant or the PowerPlant to quiet down at night. Restaurants with patios and bars make noise, the highway makes noise, people live by the airport and that is noisy as #*&@ so why does the small farmer get singled out. Because its easy to pick on the small guy.
BWNash September 12, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Don't know why so many are being so crabby about this instead of focusing on solutions. There are sound frequencies animals hear that we don't. Owl and hawk sounds and "dummies" can scare birds. There are scent, light and motion-oriented deterrents. Even images or outlines of predators can help. Farmers need to protect their crops and people need to sleep. Try harder everyone.
Hans September 12, 2012 at 09:16 PM
WMT, We win you lose. You must obey the laws! I hope you are not rearing children to think the way you do. That is not how life works. Now if you will excuse me, I am going to drink a beer on my patio, enjoy the peace and quiet, and target my next farmer to run out of town. Sweet, peaceful, and quiet dreams!
MomX4 September 12, 2012 at 11:31 PM
wow!! 'We win you lose.' is one of the worst attitudes I've ever encountered with regards to finding a solution. unbelievable.....completely self serving....
Hans September 13, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Not self serving, but following the letter of the law....
Buck98 September 13, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Hard to be sympathetic to the homeowners when an arse like Hans is their spokesmen.... Alone on your patio... sounds about right
Hans September 13, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Buck 98, Nobody wants sympathy, we just want to live within the letter of the law. Not sure why you are so upset about this, but it is over and justice prevailed. Thanks for your comment. Peace
Lorene Spears October 29, 2012 at 02:19 PM
As a decendant of one of Avon and Avon Lake's oldest families (also prior vineyard owners) the "newer" residents could consider being supportive of families attempting to preserve our original geographical heritage, which utimately stabilizes and enhances the local economy. Common sense would tell you that moving into a more rural setting is not the same as living in a tract home on a cul-du-sac. Contemplate the long term consequences the future holds. When your property is devaluated from the vacant strip malls, chain stores and crime plaguing this area because of the shortsighted, greedy local government and developers looking for a quick buck; you will reflect back on "what could have been." No one in this area had the foresight and intelligence to listen to Urban Planners who would have advised incorporating the existing historical, agricultural aspects for a thriving long term economy--as is the gold standard in other towns across the country. Real estate increases in value expotentially, when it is surrounded by natual panorama and diverse economic factors. This is a democratic society based on freedom. If you don't like it here, then move elsewhere.

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