Editor’s note: This story corrects the record for a story printed in the Tuesday, Sept. 8 edition which incorrectly named Red Bull as the defendant of the lawsuit, as well as misstated the nature of that lawsuit.
The village of Albany has filed a lawsuit in the Athens County Court of Common Pleas for the industrial park located within its limits that the village alleges has failed to meet zoning code as discussed in a 2018 agreement.
The park, located on 7 acres on Carpenter Road, is where the Dixie Beverage West LLC distribution warehouse is housed, most commonly known for distributing Red Bull in Ohio. However, the suit is alleging that a construction company based out of West Virginia has failed to obtain the correct licensure to work in Ohio, and that the property owners, Construction Solutions and Leasing LLC, have failed to keep its side of a zoning deal.
The lawsuit notes that on Oct. 23, 2018, the Village Council approved amending the zoning of the 7-acre property to Business B-2 with certain conditions from the original “rural district.” Those conditions were to install a permanent earth and landscaping screen so as to shield the business operations from the nearby residential properties.
“Neighboring property owners in an adjacent residential zone have complained to the Village of Albany about lack of earth and landscaping barrier, and the extreme lighting broadcast from the building located on the real property into the neighboring residential properties,” the village states in its civil complaint. “The ... Village of Albany has repeatedly and patiently advised (the warehouse owners) of its obligations, and has repeatedly provided notice of the zoning violations with continue on the real property.”
The village issued letters noting the failure of Construction Solutions and Leasing to abate the zoning violations, one on May 4, and a subsequent one on June 9, 2020, in addition to seeking a meeting on June 4, 2020 to prevent litigation from having to be filed. However, the construction company failed to appear for the meeting.
A second meeting was scheduled for June 15, at which representatives of the construction company did appear.
The meeting consisted of the village noting that it would be commencing litigation, as filed on Sept. 3, 2020 in Athens County Common Pleas Court, if Construction Solutions and Leasing LLC failed to correct the lighting situation and did not install landscaping. At the June 15 meeting, the lawsuit alleges, the construction company agreed to perform the requested actions.
A letter confirming the meeting’s events was sent from the village solicitor to the construction company, noting specifically the agreement to erect “restrictive lighting” and plant a “full barrier” between the building and nearby residential properties.
“Despite its commitments at the June 15, 2020 meeting, Defendant Construction Solutions and Leasing LLC has neither performed its agreed-to remedial actions nor communicated with the village of Albany regarding performance of those agreed-to remedial actions or to request additional time,” the lawsuit states. “(The company) has left the village of Albany with the belief that Defendant Construction Solutions and Leasing LLC has no intention of performing its require and agreed-to remedial actions.”
Because the construction business lacks an Ohio license, the lawsuit also alleges that the original zoning agreement from 2018 should be counted as null, and requests that the company be found in violation of the Albany zoning code.
Therefore, the village is seeking to re-zone the 7-acre property from the Business B-2 designation to a rural district once more.
There has been no response filed yet in the case.