City Wins Lawsuit over Utility Connection

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Mary Alice Reporting:

(Wednesday, October 11th) New Philadelphia, Ohio – Favor is found for the City of New Philadelphia in reference to developers seeking water and sewer service for an apartment project outside city limits.

The lawsuit was filed in 2016 by A-1 Developers for the property at the intersection of Dawn Drive and State Route 39 in Goshen Township.

The City argued against connecting the utilities for the proposed apartment complex since the city would not receive any tax money from those residents, but the development would have fire protection and create an influx of children in the school district.

According to documents from the Fifth District Court of Appeals, a city ordinance was questioned by lawyers for A-1 Developers and court judges found that the ordinance permits New Philadelphia officials to choose whether or not to provide services outside city limits, since otherwise, “it would force the city to provide utilities without regard to the city’s interest in conserving utilities for its own citizens and businesses.”

Fifth District Judges found that attorneys for A-1 Developers failed to provide clear and convincing evidence that the city had a legal obligation to provide the utilities.

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