A community group has taken another step to try to block construction of a retail complex anchored by a Menards home improvement store in Granger Township.
Citizens Action Group,filed an appeal in Medina County Common Pleas Court after a judge threw out the group's civil suit late last year. The group formed in 2019 after Menard Inc. announced it would build a shopping center at a 125-acre site at state Route 18 and Medina Line Road.
Granger Township Trustees had approved the first phase of the plan last April, Fiscal Officer Donald L. Baker said.
About a month later, the group filed suit, asserting that the planned complex "fails to meet the township's zoning resolution." In a statement on its website, the group says it opposes the project because of "the filling of wetland, destruction of rural farmland, increased flooding to neighborhood homes, decreased property values," and other reasons.
Medina County Common Pleas Judge Joyce V. Kimbler, however, ruled in November that the nonprofit group doesn't have legal standing to challenge the project under the section of the revised code that it had cited in its suit.
"The law in Ohio is simple and well settled: a non-profit entity or unincorporated association does not have standing to bring an R.C. 2506 appeal on behalf of its members," stated both the legal representatives of Granger Township and the attorneys from Menard Inc. in a legal filing from Feb. 16. "Citizens Action Group admits it is a "non-profit' organization ...and, as detailed below, it cannot invoke a court's jurisdiction to appeal from the trustees' order."
In the appeal, which was filed in December and has been amended since then, representatives from Citizens Action Group disagreed.
"[The Ohio] supreme court has provided clear guidance that such appeals are, in fact, available to such organizations," the group wrote, citing a 2012 judgment that noted a Teamsters local unit in Cuyahoga County had standing to pursue a legal action against county commissioners in its own right.
Representatives from Menard Inc. declined to comment on the citizen group's continued effort to halt the project.
Baker said he has not noticed any work on the retail site.
The current plans for the complex, which would be known as The Market at Medina Line would have a retail complex about a mile from the Montrose commercial district in Summit County. Public officials have estimated the built-out cost and value of the development at roughly $40 million.
Plans filed with the township and county show a 157,000-square-foot Menards store, a 38,000-square-foot warehouse area, a garden center and more on a nearly 23-acre parcel inside the 125-acre site.
Beacon Journal staff writer Jim Mackinnon contributed to this report. April Helms can be reached at email@example.com
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Group asks court to allow suit aimed at blocking Menards near Montrose