An apartment complex in Copley Township is suing the township after learning the ownership of the proposed Walmart site on Rothrock Road has changed hands.
Larry Levey of LRC Development Co. sold the property to Walmart on Sept. 20 for $480,000, according to county records.
As a result of the sale, Levey has pulled a zoning application he filed with the city to develop the site since he no longer owns the property.
The proposal for the site includes a new 24-hour Walmart Supercenter with groceries and a new Sam’s Club with a fuel station. The retailer wants to relocate its stores from Rosemont Commons in Fairlawn to a 40-acre undeveloped site on Rothrock Road in Copley Township.
Levey filed the application to develop the property in June 2010.
The apartment complex filing the latest lawsuit in Summit County Common Pleas Court is Fairway Park Properties, 3826 Fairway Park Drive, and is adjacent to the proposed Walmart site. The complex has 308 luxury apartments.
The lawsuit, filed by attorney Scott H. Ruport, claims the site was not originally zoned for a building the size of a Walmart Supercenter and Copley changed the zoning for the sole purpose of allowing the retailer’s project to move forward.
“Rezoning the site was arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable and unconstitutional,” the lawsuit states. “It does not advance the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the public.”
This is not the first time Ruport has sued the township on behalf of Fairway Park to block the retailer’s effort to build on the site.
A complaint was filed in 2008 but dismissed because there was nothing filed confirming Walmart’s intention to build on the site. Another lawsuit filed in 2010 stated the apartment complex would be “especially damaged” by the development from increased noise, traffic and other impacts. Levey’s group challenged the suit but in May 2011 Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer ruled that Fairway Apartments had the right to sue over development of the property.
Copley Township’s legal counsel, Irv Sugerman, declined to comment on the latest lawsuit. Sugerman said Walmart has not filed any paperwork with the township over the development of the site.
Marilyn Miller can be reached at 330-996-3098 or firstname.lastname@example.org.