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Food Trailer Park The Barn Sued by Sunset Valley

The space was intended to become a curling center.

The Barn
The Barn
The Barn/Facebook
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

The Barn, the food trailer park in Sunset Valley owned by Dennis and Anita Dunn, is being sued by the city of Sunset Valley for running without the proper permits, according to KVUE. The couple originally set out to turn 6218 Brodie Lane into a curling center with a wine and beer hall in 2011 when they purchased the property. However, after permit snags, that plan fell through. They turned it into a food trailer park in the fall of 2014, which, according to Sunset Valley, is running illegally. As reported by KVUE:

According to Sunset Valley's Mayor Rose Cardona, the Dunns have not applied for a watershed permit on their property, which is required even though the property is in the ETJ, or extra-territorial jurisdiction.

However, the Dunns tell KVUE that they have applied for permits through Travis County, and the last time they applied for a watershed permit through Sunset Valley it was rejected.

Their property lies in a recharge zone for the Edwards Aquifer, and after months of feasibility studies paid for by the Dunns, Sunset Valley's City Council rejected the watershed permit application.

Co-owner of The Barn Anita Dunn emailed with Eater Austin and said, "Our position is [Sunset Valley] shut down discussion on any commercial development on our property." She went on, they "thwarted any sale, placing undue restrictions and scaring off interested parties."

The goal was still to turn an existing structure on the lot into a beer and wine bar, so the Dunns opted to deal with Travis County rather than Sunset Valley. That was because, as Dunn explained, the city "emphatically stated that they do not support any commercial development on our property." She continued, "While in the process of trying to get the curling center built, [Sunset Valley] refused to approve anything we offered, going so far as make impossible demands after they agreed to work with us if we purchased the property." Currently, there is a pending permit on file with "to convert a house into a pub," according to permits filed in Travis County.

In response to the lawsuit, the Dunns are suing right back. The new suit cites Sunset Valley and various city officials, including the mayor, as being guilty of "Administrative Malfeasance, Administrative Misfeasance, and Administrative Nonfeasance," as well as multiple contempts of the court. Supporters of The Barn protested the Sunset Valley City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 17 because, "in retaliation for us having the audacity to suggest that anyone in [Sunset Valley] had done anything wrong," said Dunn, city officials "were now seeking permission from Council to press criminal charges against us on top of the lawsuit they already filed."

The food trailers on site are Nutter Buster BBQ & Comfort, Hey Cupcake, and Fishey Bizness Seafood Co, as well as a hair salon, Flair Style Lounge. The park remains open for business.