Burton Hoey vs. Everyone
Jenny still owns the property that the market sits on. According to Hoey's attorney, John Bredell, she also remains an owner of the market, though Burton has run it since she left. Since taking over, he's expanded it to include a petting zoo plus pony rides and hayrides, and in the fall pumpkins, doughnuts, and a straw maze.
The township's lawsuit over that straw maze is only the latest of many--a framed 1994 Ann Arbor News article on the market's wall recalls Webster's earlier suits against Jenny's. The most recent round started in 2008, when the township sued Jenny's for excess signage--by its count, he had seventeen. Hoey argued that current zoning ordinances don't apply to Jenny's since it was there before they were passed. Representing himself, Hoey won the case. Webster appealed and lost again.
John Kingsley, Webster Township's supervisor, says the courts found for Hoey because "Burton perjured himself. He said it was prior to our zoning ordinance being written that all the signs went up, and the fact is it was illegal under previous ordinances too."
Hoey turned around and sued Webster this April over its refusal to grant him a permit to install a bathroom required by the state. "They say I've got no site plans," says Hoey. "But I've got four sets of site plans in. Besides, we're not adding to the footprint of the building."