Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Eastbrook Farms, Inc. v. Warren County Board of Revision

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Warren

July 23, 2018

EASTBROOK FARMS, INC., Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
WARREN COUNTY BOARD OF REVISION, et al., Defendants-Appellees.

          ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL FROM THE OHIO BOARD OF TAX APPEALS No. 2016-1790

          Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A., Jonas J. Gruenberg, W. Chip Herin III, 33 West First Street, Suite 200, Dayton, Ohio 45402, for appellant

          David P. Fornshell, Warren County Prosecuting Attorney, Christopher A. Watkins, 520 Justice Drive, Lebanon, Ohio 45036, for appellees, Warren County Board of Revision and Warren County Auditor

          David C. DiMuzio, Matthew C. DiMuzio, 810 Sycamore Street, Sixth Floor, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202, for appellee, Springboro Community City Schools Board of Education

          OPINION

          PIPER, J.

         {¶ 1} Plaintiff-appellant, Eastbrook Farms, Inc. appeals from the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals concerning the valuation of Eastbrook's real property. For the reasons discussed below, this court affirms the board's decision.

         {¶ 2} Eastbrook owns approximately 83 acres of vacant land located on State Route 73 in Springboro, Ohio. Twenty acres are zoned residential with the remaining 63 acres zoned "O" for office development. For the 2015 tax year, the Warren County Auditor valued the property at $3, 191, 620. Eastbrook filed a complaint with the Warren County Board of Revision (BOR) and asked for a reduction in value. Springboro Community City Schools Board of Education (Springboro), filed a counter-complaint asking the BOR to maintain the appraised value.

         {¶ 3} At the BOR hearing, Eastbrook presented the report and testimony of its appraiser, Stephen Weis. Weis valued the property at $1, 792, 000. Weis opined that the residential land had a value of $40, 000 per acre. Weis determined that 13.5 acres of the office-zoned acreage was in a flood zone and was unusable and he assigned this portion of the property no value. Weis valued the remaining office land at $20, 000 per acre, which he based on a comparison to other property sales.

         {¶ 4} The Auditor's appraiser testified at the hearing and was critical of various aspects of Weis' appraisal. The Auditor's appraiser also testified about the methodology used to derive the Auditor's appraised value. The BOR found that the Auditor's valuation was justified and denied Eastbrook's complaint. Eastbrook then appealed to the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA).

         {¶ 5} At the BTA hearing, Springboro presented the report and testimony of its appraiser, James Burt. Burt valued the property at $3, 325, 000. Burt agreed that the residential portion of the land should be valued at $40, 000 per acre. However, Burt valued the office portion at $42, 000 per acre, including the acreage located in the flood zone. Burt opined that the flood zone was useable as "green space, storm water management, amenities, etc."

         {¶ 6} Eastbrook's counsel cross-examined Burt concerning a portion of his report that indicated that the office-zoned acreage could be improved with up to 75, 000 square feet of "supporting retail." The issue of whether retail was a permitted use under the applicable zoning and whether Burt appraised the property for retail development became a point of contention during the BTA hearing. Eastbrook repeatedly sought to establish, through testimony and argument, that the "O" office zoning for the property did not permit retail development.

         {¶ 7} Eastbrook called Weis for rebuttal testimony. Weis explained that the land use plan for the area in which the property was located envisioned 75, 000 square feet of retail development. In other words, the property was located in an area in which the city planners of Springboro anticipated developing some retail, but Eastbrook could not develop retail without a zoning change. Other evidence adduced at the hearing indicated that a zoning change was unlikely given Eastbrook's earlier unsuccessful attempts to have the property re-zoned by the city of Springboro to permit retail development. See Eastbrook Farms, Inc. v. City of Springboro, Warren App. No. CA2003-08-080, 2004-Ohio-1377.

         {¶ 8} Springboro called Burt for rebuttal testimony. Burt testified that he did not value the property based on retail development and that his sales comparisons consisted of office and or institutional-type developments.

         {¶ 9} After the evidentiary portion of the hearing, Eastbrook sought leave to subm it a document containing a table of permitted uses for the different zoning districts in Springboro. This chart is part of the Springboro zoning code.[1] The BTA attorney examiner ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.