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Cops and Courts

Developer sues Columbia Township over former Riverside Golf Course

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ELYRIA — A real estate developer has filed a lawsuit against Columbia Township over the old Riverside Golf Course site, reigniting a feud over the possible development of the property.

Riverside Trail LLC filed the lawsuit in Lorain County Common Pleas Court on Monday, according to court documents.

The suit asks the court to force the rezoning of the land, at the corner of Sprague and Redfern roads in Columbia Township to allow the developer to build housing on it a to prevent “the township from interfering with such use of the property.”

The property first came in the spotlight following disputes between Gill and the township in 2017.

Originally, the developer wanted to build a 151 home development on the property, which was turned down and ultimately appealed to a judge.

Eventually, developers turned to nearby Olmsted Falls to annex the property.

The annexation was opposed by township trustees and residents. The project stalled following a voluntary dismissal of a lawsuit between Riverside Golf Association — the development group that owned the land — and the township. The group eventually withdrew the original request to annex.

The newly filed suit claims the township’s application of green or open space, density requirements and use requirements discriminate against apartment uses. The suit also claims the township has infringed on the developer’s rights to the point that there was no economically viable use for the property.

The lawsuit comes months after township trustees reluctantly voted in favor of a settlement agreement with MLM Development. MLM has proposed a 660 unit development on more than 356 acres of property, including nearly 305 acres on which Emerald Woods Golf Course once sat.

Contact Scott Mahoney at (440) 329-7146 or smahoney@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.


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