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Published: Thursday, 4/27/2006

Swancreek Township trustees sue firm

WAUSEON - Swancreek Township trustees and their zoning inspector, in a continuing fight with Wylie & Sons Landscaping, filed suit Tuesday in Fulton County Common Pleas Court asking the court to order changes to what the trustees say are public nuisances and zoning violations on the Wylie property.

Trustees Ron Holdeman, Randal Ruge, and Phil Wiland, along with their zoning inspector, Walter J. Hallett III, sued the landscaping company, its owners Thomas and Lisa Wylie, and Anthony Sanchez, doing business as B.F.D. Trucking.

The trustees and inspector said in the suit that the Wylies and Mr. Sanchez have used asphalt grindings and other materials as fill without approval of the Fulton County health department.

They also allege that Wylie & Sons has violated various other zoning codes, despite orders, including erecting a business sign without a building permit and accumulating junk. A truck cab is hanging from a tree, for instance, according to the suit.

Mr. Wylie, who has won some of the suits the trustees have filed against him over about three years, said the trustees are wasting taxpayers' money in court. He said his business is grandfathered from what he said are newer zoning codes. And he accused the trustees of harassing him and vowed to countersue.

"I think our township board of trustees are just uneducated people - big time," he said.

Mr. Ruge said the board has no vendetta against the Wylies and is not asking for punitive damages.

"Is it harassment to ask that someone comply with the zoning code? I don't think it is. And that's all that the township is asking," he said.

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