June 27, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Appeals board to hear challenge of auction house

A produce auction house built by the Amish earlier this month won’t open for business until the Homer Township Board of Zoning Appeals rules on a challenge to the project.

The decision is expected at the board’s May 30 meeting.

Several hundred Amish men built the 28,000-square-foot building at Jeffery Road and state Route 301 over the weekend of May 4 and 5.

The project was granted an agricultural variance by township Zoning Inspector Nancy Lilly in late April, F.W. Owen, who owns Homerville Wholesale Produce Auction, 9430 Spencer Road, filed a challenge to the exemption with the township Board of Zoning Appeals on May 2.

The next day, he filed a lawsuit in Medina County Common Pleas Court seeking a temporary injunction to bar the new auction house from opening.

On May 7, Visiting Common Pleas Judge Thomas J. Pokorny issued a temporary restraining order, which prohibited the auction house from opening until the appeals board decides the case.

At a hearing Tuesday, Pokorny withdrew the restraining order because Owen never posted 10 percent of the $10,000 bond required to activate the order.

Owen’s attorney, Trina Devanney, said her client didn’t post bond because it was no longer necessary — the township appeals board issued its own order preventing the opening of the auction house, 11701 Jeffery Road.

The new auction house, owned by County Line Land Co., was set to open May 15.

The two auction houses are within two miles of one another.

Mark Fusco, Country Line’s attorney, said there will be no further activity at the auction house until the appeals board makes a decision.

“The township zoning inspector issued a stay,” he said, “My client will abide by that stay.”

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.