An annexation action begun in 2000 by the city of Sylvania was ordered granted yesterday in a ruling by the 6th District Court of Appeals.
The annexation will transfer about 260 acres of Sylvania Township land to the city. The property is centered generally at Sylvania Avenue and King Road and includes Southview High School and the shopping center at the southwest corner of that intersection.
The city's initial petition for annexation was for about 330 acres and included homes in the Farmbrook Estates subdivision. But after homeowners complained, the city dropped that area from the action.
The Lucas County commissioners denied the city's request, and that decision was appealed to Lucas County Common Pleas Court in 2001.
The court sided with the commissioners, but the appellate court ruled yesterday that both were wrong "in finding that the good of the territory would not be served by annexation."
The 3-0 appeals court decision found that there was no evidence that the city of Sylvania could not provide adequate fire and police protection as well as other governmental services to the area.
They pointed out that although the township contended it could provide superior service, the law required that it be shown that the city would be inadequate to provide those services.
The judges pointed out that state law in effect at the time of the city's petition was meant to encourage annexation.
The decision also pointed out that about 60 percent of the property owners sought annexation, and that after Farmbrook Estates was removed from the action, no property owner objected to the annexation.
Dennis Boyle, chairman of the township trustees, said yesterday the court's decision "is just wrong," but he said he would have to study the opinion with township attorneys before deciding what action to take. He said the township might appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.
Jim Moan, Sylvania law director, said the city must wait 60 days before accepting the property.
He said the city departments will use the time to include the annexed property in their service plans.
The appeals court panel was made up of Judges Peter Handwork, Arlene Singer, and George Glasser. Judge Glasser is retired from the appeals court but was sitting on the case by assignment of the state Supreme Court.
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