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L.L.C. v. City of Parma

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District

September 19, 2013

6957 RIDGE ROAD, L.L.C. PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT
v.
CITY OF PARMA, OHIO BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS, ET AL. DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES

Civil Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CV-767257

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT John P. Slagter Anthony R. Vacanti Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, L.L.P.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES Timothy G. Dobeck Director of Law By: Bruce M. Courey Assistant Law Director City of Parma.

BEFORE: Blackmon, J., Keough, P.J., and E.T. Gallagher, J.

JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

PATRICIA ANN BLACKMON, J.

(¶1} Appellant 6957 Ridge Road, L.L.C. ("Owner") appeals the trial court's decision upholding the Parma City Council's ("the City") denial of a use variance. Owner assigns the following errors for our review:

I. The trial court erred by affirming the City's denial of Owner's variance request because such denial was arbitrary, capricious, and unsupported by a preponderance of reliable, probative and substantial evidence.
II. The trial court erred by ruling that the continued application of the residential zoning to the property is constitutional because such continued application violates substantive due process and equal protection.
III. The trial court erred by ruling that Owner was provided a constitutionally sufficient fair and impartial hearing on its variance.

(¶2} Having reviewed the record and pertinent law, we affirm the trial court's decision. The apposite facts follow.

(¶3} On September 30, 2010, Owner purchased a residential property located at 6957 Ridge Road in the city of Parma, Ohio. The property is zoned for single-family use, but is located between both residential and commercial properties. It is flanked on the south by the Stearns Homestead, which is a Parma historical site containing a numerous variety of farm animals, and on the north by Fifth Third Bank.

(¶4} On May 11, 2011, Owner filed an application to have the property rezoned from single-family residential to retail and commercial. The city of Parma's Planning Commission ("Planning Commission") voted to recommend that the City approve the rezoning request, but the City declined to approve the request.

(¶5} Thereafter, Owner applied to the Parma Board of Zoning Appeals ("BZA") for a use variance pursuant to Chapter 1127 of Parma Codified Ordinances. On August 9, 2011, the BZA arrived at a split 2-2 vote on the issue due to the absence of one BZA member. The matter was able to be presented to the City after one member changed his vote from "no" to "yes" to arrive at 3-1.

(¶6} On September 21, 2011, a Special Planning Committee meeting was conducted wherein the Owner, along with planning experts, appraisal experts, and engineering experts presented testimony in support of granting the variance. Immediately after the meeting the City, in an 8-0 vote, denied the requested variance.

(ΒΆ7} On October 20, 2011, Owner filed an administrative appeal, pursuant to R.C. Chapter 2506, in the trial court. On August 30, 2012, the trial court affirmed the City's denial ...


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