city left us no choice but to file lawsuit
By Jeff Gallatin
Published Oct. 13, 2004
the $2 million Ganley Volkswagen dealership proposal said city officials
left them little choice but to seek legal action to try and get
the rezoning for development for property at Lorain Road and Ranchview
city took its last action, we really had little choice but to go
ahead with legal action," said Jordan Berns, one of the attorneys
for Ganley Real Estate Co., which filed the suit in September against
the city of North Olmsted.
to discuss specific legal strategy, citing the ongoing nature of
the case. He said the suit, which was formally filed Sept. 14 in
Common Pleas Court, had been contemplated by Ganley since council
rejected by a 4-3 margin May 26 revising the current split zoning
of the property. The proposal had drawn the opposition of many of
the residents of the area, who said it would de-value their properties
in addition to causing noise and congestion problems in the neighborhood.
"It was mostly
a matter of getting things ready," Berns said of the timing of the
suit. "I would imagine there are city officials who are not at all
surprised by the action."
He said he
couldn't say if there was any possibility of a settlement between
the two parties since there have been no discussions between Ganley
and city officials since the last city action was taken.
In the suit,
Ganley alleges the city split zoning is unconstitutional and should
be changed. It also asks the court to consider whether Ganley should
receive financial compensation as a result of the city action.
Ganley officials still would like to go forward with development
of the property, citing the fact that it seeks the proper permits
for development from the city in the suit.
He said Ganley
officials had tried to work with the city and the residents in the
area, noting that there had been a series of meetings and two postponed
city council votes on the proposal while the two sides tried to
find a proposal that would work.
North Olmsted Law Director Jim Dubelko said city insurers have already
provided an attorney to work on the case with the city.
"We'll be working
pretty closely together on it," Dubelko said. "We've already held
one initial executive session with (city) council, the mayor and
other officials to discuss possible legal strategy."
to discuss specific legal strategy about the case at this point
in the litigation.
we're gathering information together for our answer to Ganley's
initial filing," Dubelko said.
assigned the case to Common Pleas Judge Daniel Gaul, who said the
city's response to Ganley's allegations must be filed by Oct. 25.
said they don't anticipate the matter being settled quickly.