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Downing v. Catawba Island Township Board of Zoning Appeals

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Sixth District, Ottawa

May 19, 2017

Jonathan Downing, et al., Appellants
v.
Catawba Island Township Board of Zoning Appeals, et al., Appellees

         Trial Court No. 2015-CV-354.

          Katherine S. Decker, for appellants.

          James J. VanEerten, Ottawa County Prosecuting Attorney, and Blake W. Skilliter, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellees.

          DECISION AND JUDGMENT

          PIETRYKOWSKI, J.

         {¶ 1} In this accelerated appeal, appellants Jonathan Dowling and Megan Meinerding appeal the judgment of the Ottawa County Court of Common Pleas, which affirmed the Catawba Island Township Board of Zoning Appeals' grant of an area variance to Dwight and Barbara Roll. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         I. Facts and Procedural Background

         {¶ 2} This appeal largely concerns procedural matters. Dwight and Barbara Roll own property adjacent to appellants. On July 17, 2015, the Rolls submitted an application to request an area variance from the setback requirements so that they could expand their home. Appellants opposed the variance request. Following a hearing, appellee, the Catawba Island Township Board of Zoning Appeals, granted the variance.

         {¶ 3} On November 13, 2015, appellants appealed appellee's decision to the Ottawa County Court of Common Pleas pursuant to R.C. 2506.01. The matter was briefed, and on October 21, 2016, the trial court entered a judgment that purportedly overturned appellee's decision.

         {¶ 4} On October 27, 2016, appellee filed a motion for clarification, noting that the October 21, 2016 decision contained errors, including that the heading did not match the introductory paragraph, and the conclusion did not match the analysis. Indeed, the only things in the October 21, 2016 judgment entry pertaining to the dispute before the trial court were the heading and the first part of the first sentence. The first sentence reads, "This case comes before the Court upon Appellants Jonathan Downing and Me (sic) Charles J. Walter's ("Walter") appeal of a final decision of the Appellee, Danbury Township Board of Zoning Appeals ("BZA"), denying Appellant's application for a variance." The remainder of the decision contains facts and analysis relative to Walter's appeal, concluding with the trial court reversing the decision of the BZA and granting the variance.

         {¶ 5} On December 20, 2016, the trial court entered an amended decision, this time including facts and analysis pertinent to the present case, and concluding that the decision of appellee should be affirmed.

         II. Assignment of Error

         {¶ 6} Appellants have timely appealed the trial court's December 20, 2016 judgment entry, and now assert one assignment of error for our review:

1. The trial court abused its discretion and erred as a matter of law in granting Appellee Catawba Island Board of Zoning Appeals' Motion for Clarification.

         III. ...


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