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No takeoff Monday for Afton airstrip trial

The lawsuit against an Afton resident and his allegedly illegal airstrip will be stuck on the runway for a bit longer.

A jury trial was set to begin this morning, but prior to the trial the attorney for Afton resident Jeffrey Walker made a motion to be removed from the case. The motion was granted.

It's been almost five years since Walker installed an airstrip on his property at 1022 Indian Trail South in Afton -- a move Afton officials contend is not permitted by city ordinance.

The case has been in and out of court, with Walker not attending the hearings and the charges being thrown out on previous occasions.

At a trial conducted Feb. 16, the court decided to uphold Afton's contention that the airstrip was in violation of the city's zoning code.

But the charge against Walker for operating an illegal airport and Walker's contention that the Federal Aviation Administration supersedes Afton's zoning code were thrown out.

The jury trial has been rescheduled for August 17 in order to give Walker adequate time to locate a replacement lawyer.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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