Defendant ran a business next to his house of buying, drying, storing and selling grain and selling fertilizer, pesticides, and other agricultural chemicals. The land was zoned as agricultural, which permitted drying and storing grain, but not selling the other products. However, since defendant had been doing this since before the ordinance was enacted, he was allowed to continue as long as he did not expand.
Defendant sold some land to plaintiffs on the other side of the road, and eleven years later, he moved his business across the road as well, putting it adjacent to plaintiffs' lot. in the move, he generally expanded his operation. Plaintiffs filed a complaint with the country inspections department, which notified defendant that the expansion constituted an impermissible expansion, yet informed him that he could request a rezoning.
Defendant applied to have the tracts rezoned to a conditional use district and applied for a conditional use permit. The request was approved after hearing testimony from both parties and several others and reading a petition defendant had signed by eighty-eight others. Plaintiffs sued to have the zoning amendment and use permit declared invalid.