The attorney representing Fairway Park Properties dismissed the lawsuit filed against Copley Township, Walmart, township trustees and township zoning inspectors over the zoning of the proposed site for a new Walmart and Sam’s Club.
The case, scheduled to be heard before Summit County Common Pleas Judge Alison McCarty, was dismissed on Monday.
The judge’s order states that the complaint, amended complaint and counterclaim be dismissed and that each party agrees to pay its own attorney fees and expenses. Court costs are to be paid by Fairway.
The suit, filed by Scott H. Ruport, stemmed from Walmart’s plan to build a 24-hour Supercenter store and Sam’s Club with fuel stations on 40 acres of vacant land on Rothrock Road.
The retailer plans to close its existing stores in Fairlawn and move west to the new site, prompting a separate legal fight between the city and the township.
Ruport represents Fairway Park, 3826 Fairway Park Drive, an apartment complex of 308 luxury apartments, which is adjacent to the proposed Walmart site.
Ruport claimed the site was not originally zoned for a building the size of a Walmart Supercenter store and Copley changed the zoning for the sole purpose of allowing the retailer’s project to move forward.
Ruport could not be reached for comment.
Irv Sugerman, legal counsel for Copley Township, said he was pleased with the dismissal, saying the suit “had no basis in law or fact.”
This is not the first lawsuit by Ruport to sue the township on behalf of Fairway Park.
A complaint was filed in 2008 but dismissed because there was nothing filed yet to confirm Walmart was actually going to build in Copley Township.
Another lawsuit filed in 2010 stated the apartment complex would be damaged by the development from increased noise, traffic and other impacts after the site plans were filed by developer Larry Levey. Summit County Common Pleas Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer ruled that Fairway had the right to sue over the development of the property. The suit was dropped when the developer sold the property to Walmart, but then refiled against the new owner.
All counter claims made in the lawsuit by Walmart against Fairway Park have also been dismissed.
The newest detailed site plans by Walmart are still being reviewed by Copley officials.
“The township has and will continue to scrupulously follow Ohio law in reviewing and processing the zoning application,” said Sugerman. “The fact that this case was simply abandoned demonstrates the fact that it was completely without merit.”
Marilyn Miller can be reached at 330-996-3098 or firstname.lastname@example.org.