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Rumpke Road Development Corp. v. Union Township

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division

August 12, 2019

RUMPKE ROAD DEVELOPMENT CORP., et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
UNION TOWNSHIP, CLERMONT COUNTY, OHIO, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING JOINT MOTION TO AMEND AND DENYING MOTION TO INTERVENE AS MOOT

          Susan J. Dlott Judge United States District Court

         This matter is before the Court for consideration of two motions: (1) the Joint Motion to Amend the Settlement Plan Attached to the Agreed Judgment Entry and Consent Decree Dated June 26, 2000 (“Joint Motion to Amend”) (Doc. 41) filed by Plaintiff Anthony M. Sansalone[1]and Defendants Union Township, Union Township Board of Trustees, and Union Township Board of Zoning Appeals; and (2) the Motion to Intervene (Doc. 46) filed by the Cincinnati Nature Center, Committee to Protect Avey's Way, Mark Lutz, Robb Wing, Maria Keri, and Anne Robinson (collectively “Intervenors”). For the reasons that follow, the Joint Motion to Amend the Settlement Plan (Doc. 41) will be DENIED, and the Motion to Intervene (Doc. 46) will be DENIED AS MOOT.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Facts

         This case involves a 21-year-old dispute over efforts to develop approximately 271 acres of real property in Clermont County, Ohio located between Interstate 275, Old State Route 74, and the Cincinnati Nature Center. (Doc. 41 at PageID 3; Doc. 41-4 at PageID 32.) In 1998, Rumpke Road Development Corporation and eight individual property owners initiated this action challenging the zoning restrictions applicable to the property as unconstitutional. (Doc. 1.)

         According to the original Plaintiffs, the Defendants zoned the subject real estate “R-1” single family detached residential structure zone and “S-1” special zone (with regulations identical to those applicable to “A-1” agricultural conservation zones). (Doc. 1, ¶¶ 12-14.) According to the Complaint, “A-1” zoning regulations allow only farm and agricultural uses, single family dwellings on lots of at least two acres, forest and wildlife preservation, and other specific uses inconsistent with the development Plaintiffs proposed in 1998. (Id. at ¶ 15.)

         In 2000, the parties stipulated that Anthony Sansalone, Trustee-as the new title holder to the property at issue-should be substituted for the original Plaintiffs in this case, leaving only Rumpke Road Development Corporation and Anthony Sansalone, Trustee as Plaintiffs. (Doc. 37.) The case caption changed at that time to reflect the new ownership. (Doc. 39.)

         On June 26, 2000, the parties entered into-and the Court approved-an Agreed Judgment Entry and Consent Decree (“Consent Decree”) resolving the litigation. (Doc. 40.)

         The Consent Decree, provides:

WHEREAS, Plaintiff is desirous of developing the subject real estate as a planned single family detached housing residential community and is willing to submit the development thereof to certain restrictions set forth herein which Defendant believes to be in the best interest of Union Township;
6. Defendant hereby authorizes, and Plaintiff is hereby authorized, to develop and use the subject real estate as a single family detached housing residential community, recreational facilities, and open space, as provided herein.
7. The development and use of the subject real estate shall be consistent with the intent and purpose of the following documents, which have been stipulated to by the parties and are incorporated herein by reference:
(B) Exhibit “B, ” the Settlement Plan containing the following elements: (1) Not more than 575 detached units may be developed on the subject real estate [with minimum lot size and square footage requirements].
14. Any changes, amendments, or revisions to the terms and provisions hereof shall be in writing and shall be subject to the approval of both Plaintiff and Defendant, neither or ...

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