A proposed consent decree has been reached in a property dispute between Genoa Township and the Benalcazar family.
The consent decree is “an agreement to resolve all pending claims in this action,” states Judge Algenon L. Marbley of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Eastern Division. “This consent decree represents the compromise of disputed contentions between the parties concerning the litigation and related claims.”
The agreement would mean The Nest at Hoover would consist of 56 single-family homes instead of 64.
In December 2017, owners Benton and Katherine Benalcazar applied to the township to rezone their 42.791-acre property at 4741 Tussic St. from Rural Residential to Planned Residence District without variances or divergences. In April 2018, the Genoa Township Board of Trustees approved the development plan despite opposition from some township residents.
A referendum was held in November 2018, and residents voted to deny the rezoning. The next month, the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit alleging the referendum result was unlawful.
“On June 7, 2019, the parties participated in a confidential mediation,” the case background states. “Following the mediation and continued discussions between the parties’ counsel and a township hearing, the settlement embodied in this consent decree was reached.”
The Final Development Plan states the 56 homes would feature a density of 1.3 homes per acre, less than the 2.2 homes per acre in the township’s zoning code.
“Proposed property value sales prices will be in excess of the surrounding average price,” states the plan. The prices of homes in the area range from $119,000 to $559,000, with the average as $270,000.
The homes will have two-car attached garages and are either one-story or one-and-a-half story, with optional basement.
“It is ordered that the township has approved plaintiffs’ Nov. 6, 2019 submittal for rezoning of the property to PRD and plaintiffs’ final development plan … without referendum or appeal,” states the settlement.
According to the township, “The trustees will hold a special public meeting to consider and take action on the proposed consent decree scheduled for Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m.” The township hall is at 5111 South Old 3C Highway, Westerville.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.