July 1, 2016

Mostly clear

Hearing Tuesday morning on Westfield zoning challenge

MEDINA —A judge will hear arguments at 9 a.m. Tuesday from two newly elected Westfield Township trustees who seek to block an out-of-court settlement that would allow commercial development on a 105-acre lot on Greenwich Road.

The property now  is  zoned primarily for rural homes, but Timothy and Linda Kratzer filed a lawsuit in August to overturn a decision by the township Board of Zoning Appeals that barred the couple from building.

A possible settlement between the Kratzers and the current trustees is set for announcement Friday, but trustees-elect William Thombs and Michael Schmidt — who will take office Jan. 1 — filed a “motion to intervene” on Thursday requesting a judge delay the Friday meeting.

Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier said he plans to make a ruling in time for the meeting.

The settlement is supported by trustees Gary Harris and Ronald Oiler, who voted in favor of rezoning in 2012 and were defeated by Thombs and Schmidt in the November election. Thombs led a November 2011 referendum decision against the rezoning, and Schmidt served on the zoning appeals board that rejected the variance in July.

Thombs and Schmidt accuse Harris and Oiler of trying to get the case settled before they leave office.

Five township residents who own land near the lot, at 5669 Greenwich Road, have also filed motions to intervene, saying building commercially on the land would impede work on nearby farms, reduce property values, increase police and fire taxes and would make flooding more likely.

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.