Judge sets deadline for parties in zoning dispute

Larry Limpf

Wood County Common Pleas Court Judge Matthew Reger has issued an order setting Sept. 4 as the deadline for Lake Township and the owner of Woodville Road Nursery to file motions for summary judgment in their legal dispute.
The judge’s order notes the parties have agreed to forgo oral arguments in the case and set Oct. 2 and Oct. 9 as the deadlines for response and reply briefs.
“No further extensions will be considered,” the order says.
The township trustees, plaintiffs in the case, are seeking an injunction against James Mlynek, owner of the nursery, to prevent him from using parcels of property along Woodville Road, where he operates a transfer station to temporarily store leaves before composting them at his nursery.
The parties are at odds over the width of a required buffer mound at the western perimeter of the parcels along Bailey Road and whether or not the use of the parcels complies with the township’s B-2 (general commercial) zoning regulations.
By a 2-1 vote, the trustees in May 2018 agreed to Mlynek’s request to rezone the two parcels covering 2.3 acres from R-2 residential to B-2 commercial but included two stipulations: Mlynek would be required to construct an earthen mound at least 4 feet high with trees along the perimeter of the western side of the property that abuts Bailey Road residences and he would have to agree to not place an access road from Bailey to the parcels.
Mlynek contends he has met the buffer requirement, including planting of trees, but the township later added a requirement it had to be 25 feet wide.
He also argues the township hasn’t enforced buffer or mound requirements on a similarly-zoned composting facility at a nearby Mathews Road parcel.
The township complaint says Mlynek has “failed to establish either a 50 (foot) buffer yard or install an obscuring wall or landscape/mound on a 25-foot buffer yard that complies with the… provisions of the Lake Township Zoning Resolution.”
“Defendant (Mlynek) has not and does not use said parcels for any of the …permitted or conditional uses for B-2 General Commercial properties.”
The township is represented by the Wood County prosecutor’s office in the case.
A pre-trial hearing in a related case between Mlynek and the township to decide alleged zoning infractions is set for Aug. 25 in Perrysburg Municipal Court.


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