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State ex rel. Armatas v. Plain Township Board of Zoning Appeals

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Stark

August 12, 2019

THE STATE OF OHIO, ex rel. STEVEN A. ARMATAS Relator,
v.
PLAIN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS And THOMAS FERRARA, in his official Capacity as Zoning Director for Plain Township, Ohio Respondents,

          Writ of Mandamus

         JUDGMENT: Dismissed

          For Relator STEVEN A. ARMATAS

          For Respondent Plain Township Board Of Zoning Appeals ERIC J. WILLIAMS Pelini, Campbell & Williams, LLC

          For Respondent Thomas Ferrara JAMES F. MATHEWS ANDREA K. ZIARKO Baker, Dublikar, Beck, Wiley & Mathews

          JUDGES: Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J., Hon. John W. Wise, J., Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.

          OPINION

          Baldwin, J.

         {¶1} Relator, Steven Armatas, has filed a Complaint for Writ of Mandamus requesting this Court issue a writ ordering the following: first, Relator seeks an order requiring Respondent Ferrara, who is the Plain Township Zoning Director, to reduce his decision in writing; and second, Relator seeks an order requiring the Plain Township Board of Zoning Appeals to hold a hearing and issue a written decision on appeal after Ferrara issues his written decision.

         {¶2} Respondents have filed a Motion for Summary Judgment which Relator opposes.

         {¶3} Relator filed his first Petition for Writ of Mandamus on October 14, 2016 naming the Plain Township Board of Trustees and Thomas Ferrara, the zoning director, as respondents. The 2016 petition was based upon the same set of facts as the instant petition.

         {¶4} The essence of both complaints revolves around a local zoning ordinance Relator believed his neighbors violated. Relator asked Respondent Ferrara to find a violation of the ordinance. Ferrara orally advised Relator he did not believe the neighbors were in violation of the ordinance. In his first complaint, Relator filed a petition for writ of mandamus requesting this Court order the Respondents to enforce the zoning ordinance. This Court dismissed the petition because Relator has or had an adequate remedy at law by appealing a decision of the zoning inspector to the zoning board. Relator filed an appeal of our decision with the Supreme Court, however, the case was dismissed for want of prosecution.

         {¶5} Following our decision in the first mandamus case, Relator did pursue an appeal of the decision of the zoning inspector to the zoning board. The zoning board refused to hear the appeal because the appeal was untimely.

         {¶6} Relator has now instituted this second mandamus petition requesting the zoning director be ordered to reduce his decision in writing and requesting the zoning board be ordered to hear his appeal once the decision is reduced to writing.

         {¶7} Relator could have raised the issue of Ferrara's failure to reduce his decision to writing in the first mandamus action, therefore, raising the issue in a ...


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