Zoning dispute over bitcoin mining operation to go to trial in March – Johnson City Press (subscription)


The parties involved in a zoning dispute over a bitcoin mining operation in the Limestone community have agreed to an “expedited litigation schedule” in Washington County Chancery Court to settle the matter.

Chancellor John Rambo issued an order on Friday acknowledging the county has dropped its request for a temporary injunction against BrightRidge in favor of a trial set to begin in his court at 9 a.m. on March 14. The order also notes that the trial will continue, as needed, on March 15 through 16.

Rambo had previously scheduled a hearing on Wednesday to address the county’s request for the injunction against BrightRidge to prevent the continuation of cyber currency mining on property the energy authority owns at 1444 Bailey Bridge Road.

In late November, Rambo agreed to allow Red Dog Technologies LLC to become a co-defendant and counter plaintiff in the civil complaint. Angela Charles, Washington County’s planning director, is the plaintiff in a complaint from the county alleging the bitcoin mining conducted by the property’s leaseholder, Red Dog, does not conform with a “public utilities” land use permitted at the site under the county’s A-3 zone.

Washington County alleges county commissioners first became aware that BrightRidge was in violation of the permitted zoning use for its Limestone property when residents in the neighborhood appeared during the public comment segment of their monthly meeting in July to voice their concerns about the constant noise from the computers and cooling fans used by Red Dog in its cyber mining operation.

Bitcoin mining is a process that produces cryptocurrency by using computers to solve very complex math problems.

Todd Napier, a representative of Red Dog, told commissioners in September that his company has spent $500,000 on efforts to reduce the noise at the property. That includes installing noise dampening louvers near its equipment and beginning construction of a 15-foot wall around the facility.

Even so, commissioners voted in September to send a letter to officials at BrightRidge, informing them they had 30 days to discontinue the cyber mining operation on their property.

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