Feds. Dist, Court docket of OH Grants Abstract Judgment to Township in Equal Safety and Takings Claims Associated to Annexation and Zoning Dispute

This submit was authored by Matthew Loescher, Esq.

Plaintiff Oberer Land Builders, LTD served as developer of the Dille/Cornerstone challenge that, in years of litigation between the Metropolis of Centerville and Defendant Sugarcreek Township, Ohio concerning whether or not a municipality might annex land from a township. On this case, Oberer alleged that members of Defendant Sugarcreek Township, Ohio Board of Trustees resented Oberer for its function within the earlier annexation dispute, and the Board of Trustees allowed that ill-will to affect its choice to disclaim Oberer’s newer utility to rezone sure parcels of land situated in Sugarcreek.

On the outset, the court docket discovered that Plaintiffs failed to hold their “heavy burden” to show a class-of-one declare. In assist of this declare, Plaintiffs tried to attract a comparability between Rammel Farm and two different Oberer developments — Black Farm and Woodland Ridge — whose zoning functions had been authorized by the Board of Trustees. Past the truth that all three properties had been regulated by the LRLUP, nonetheless, Plaintiffs didn’t display by means of affidavits, deposition testimony, or in any other case how these properties had been materially related.

The court docket additionally famous that, quite than alleging a per se taking, Plaintiffs tried to current a triable regulatory taking declare. The report mirrored that two trustees had acknowledged, whereas explaining why they voted down the zoning utility, that they had been open to revisiting the proposal if Oberer higher defined the way it deliberate to fulfill the open area requirement. The court docket discovered that had Plaintiffs carried out because the trustees had been instructed, their utility could have been authorized. Furthermore, however their utility, Plaintiffs might have offered the undeveloped land to a different developer prepared to satisfy the BZC and Board of Trustees’ necessities.

As a last matter, Plaintiffs contended that, below Ohio statutory legislation, neither Sugarcreek, as a township, nor its administrator, in his capability as a township consultant, had the ability to enter a non-annexation settlement. As plaintiffs federal claims had been dismissed by abstract judgment, the court docket declined to train supplemental jurisdiction over this declare.

Oberer Land Builders, LTD v Sugarcreek Township, 2021 WL 3883922 (SD OH 8/31/2021)

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