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Heather Lake Association v. Billiter

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Fairfield

October 30, 2017

HEATHER LAKE ASSOCIATION Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
DAVID BILLITER, ET AL. Defendants-Appellants

         Appeal from the Fairfield County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2015CV00803

          For Plaintiff-Appellee: ROBERT E. KMIECIK GARRETT B. HUMES KAMAN & CUSIMANO LLC

          For Defendants-Appellants: DAVE LACKEY SCHERNER, SYBERT & RHOAD LLC

          Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, P.J. Hon. John W. Wise, J. Hon. Earle E. Wise, Jr., J.

          OPINION

          Delaney, P.J.

         {¶1} Defendants-appellants David Billiter et al. appeal from the Entry dated June 2, 2017 and Consent Judgment Entry dated June 28, 2017 of the Fairfield County Court of Common Pleas. Plaintiff-appellee is the Heather Lake Association.

         {¶2} This case comes to us on the accelerated calendar. App.R. 11.1 governs accelerated-calendar cases and states in pertinent part:

(E) Determination and judgment on appeal. The appeal will be determined as provided by App.R. 11.1. It shall be sufficient compliance with App.R. 12(A) for the statement of the reason for the court's decision as to each error to be in brief and conclusionary form.
The decision may be by judgment entry in which case it will not be published in any form.

         {¶3} One of the most important purposes of the accelerated calendar is to enable an appellate court to render a brief and conclusory decision more quickly than in a case on the regular calendar where the briefs, facts, and legal issues are more complicated. Crawford v. Eastland Shopping Mall Assn., 11 Ohio App.3d 158, 463 N.E.2d 655 (10th Dist.1983).

         {¶4} This appeal shall be considered in accordance with the aforementioned rules.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         {¶5} Appellee is a nonprofit corporation organized and existing under the laws of the state of Ohio to provide a corporate entity for the operation of 69 lots and homes located at the Heather Lake community in Lancaster, Fairfield County. The "Heather Glen Subdivision Declaration of Covenants, Easements, Restrictions, and Assessment Lien" ["Declaration"] was filed on August 30, 1996, and applied to Lots 1 through 22. Two months later, an amendment was recorded which changed the name from "Heather Glen Homeowners' Association" to "Heather Lake Association."

         {¶6} On September 25, 1997, a second amendment to the Declaration was recorded which added Lots 23 through 58 to the property subject to the Declaration.

         {¶7} On June 27, 2001, appellants took title to Lot 37 located at 1967 Glenhurst Drive, Lancaster, Ohio. At that time, Article I, Section 2(e) of the Declaration stated:

Vehicle. The Board may promulgate regulations restricting the parking of automobiles, inoperable vehicles, trucks, boats, and recreational vehicles on the Lots and Common Areas and, to the extent not prohibited by law, the streets within the subdivision, and may enforce such regulations or restrictions by levying fines or enforcement charges, having such vehicles towed away, or taking other such actions as it, in its sole discretion, deems appropriate.

         {¶8} Appellee asserted in the trial court that pursuant to the Declaration, the Association adopted a Design Review Manual for Single Family Residential Development on May 12, 2001 ("Design Review Manual"), regulating parking of "Vehicles, Trailers, Boats, Commercial Vehicles and ...


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