Posted by: Patricia Salkin | April 14, 2018

OH Appeals Court Holds Owner of Property who Stored Multiple Vehicles and Did Not Operate a Commercial Garage Since He Owned all Vehicles did not Violate Zoning Provision

This post was authored by Matthew Loeser, Esq. 

 

JSS Properties owned real property located in Johnstown, Ohio. Wendi Zigo, the Liberty Township Zoning Inspector, received a complaint from a neighboring landowner concerning multiple junk vehicles stored on the property, and discovered thirteen vehicles stored outside of the buildings on the property. Zigo cited JSS Properties for violating three sections of the Liberty Township Zoning Resolution. JSS Properties through its primary member, John Sadinsky, filed an appeal to the Board. Prior to the hearing, JSS Properties remedied two of the alleged violations. Nevertheless, the Board found Mr. Sadinsky was required to apply for a conditional use permit to continue the type of business he is operating and must remove the cars or cover them per the resolution. The trial court reversed, finding there was no evidence in the record to establish JSS Properties was engaged in commercial activity which involved retail or services offered to the public, in violation of Article 8, Section 807 of the resolution.

 

The record reflected that Sadinsky testified he did not operate JSS Properties as a service garage open to the general public, but serviced his own vehicles as well as vehicles belonging to family members. Sadinsky also indicated all of the vehicles located at the property were roadworthy. There was no evidence to contradict appellant’s contention that the vehicles were all operable. Moreover the BZA’s minutes indicated that the Board’s main concern was that appellant was storing vehicles in the open, not that he was operating a general automobile garage. Here, however, no section of the resolution was cited in conjunction with Section 807 in the notice of violation that prohibited appellant’s storing of operable vehicles in the open, and the court found there was no provision in Section 807 requiring operable vehicles to be enclosed. Accordingly, the court affirmed the trial court’s holding.

 

JSS Properties, II LLC v Liberty Township Board of Zoning Appeals, 2018 WL 1863359 (OH App. 4/13/2018)

 


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