Recent Zoning Decision
The Ninth District Court of Appeals recently reversed the City of Lorain Board of Zoning Appeals’ denial of area variances involving the application of riparian setbacks to a proposed residential subdivision. Significantly, the Appellate Court agreed with the Lorain County Common Pleas Court’s reversal where Appellant K. Hovnanian Oster Homes, represented by Bruce Rinker of Mansour Gavin, demonstrated that its development plan actually implemented the storm water management methodologies sought to be effectuated by the City’s Zoning Code.
Bruce successfully argued that the requested relaxation of the linear setback distance was to enable the developer to install detention and grading elements expressly designed to intercept and filter surface waters on site, thus reducing potentially erosive and adverse water quality impacts through the granting of the variances.
Both the Appellate and Common Pleas Courts emphasized that “the Board did not properly consider the mandatory factors enumerated in L.C.O. 1533.14 [Riparian Setback provision] prior to denying K. Hovnanian’s variance application.”
Given the adoption by the vast majority of Northeast Ohio municipalities of the model Storm Water Management Code, as did Lorain, the Courts’ analyses are practical guides for all developers to consider in advance of submitting a subdivision plan in which comparable storm water management requirements are to be met.
For more information, please contact Mansour Gavin’s Real Estate and Land Use Practice Group.
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