Posted by: Patricia Salkin | December 9, 2015

OH Appeals Court Finds Failure to Obtain a Stay or Injunction Preventing the Commencement of a Planned Student-Housing Project Resulted in a Dismissal under the Mootness Doctrine

After a hearing at which Coates Run Property LL, LLC did not actively participate, the Athens Board of Zoning Appeals granted a variance to Athens River Gate, LLC from municipal maximum lot-coverage restrictions for its planned student-housing project. Coates Run, which owned a student-housing complex in another part of the city, appealed the granting of the variance to the common pleas. The trial court dismissed Coates Run’s appeal for lack of standing and, following this appeal, Coates Run failed to obtain a stay or injunction preventing the commencement of the planned student-housing project, and construction commenced.

Athens River Gate asserted that this appeal was moot because construction of its planned student development that Coates Run sought to prohibit had commenced and no stay of that construction had been issued. The court noted that it is well settled that where an appeal involves the erection of a structure and the appellant has failed to obtain a stay of execution of a trial court’s order permitting construction, the appeal will be moot if construction has commenced pursuant to the order. Furthermore, none of the exceptions to the mootness doctrine applied because neither Coates Run nor the municipal appellees asserted that case raised issues that: are capable of repetition, yet evading review; involve matters of great public importance; or constitute unresolved debatable constitutional questions. The court therefore granted Athens River Gate’s motioned and dismiss this appeal as moot.

Coates Run Property, LL v City of Athens Board of Zoning Appeals, 2015 WL 7201259 (OH App. 11/12/2015)

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