Donnelly v. City of Fairview Park

Decision Date03 January 1968
Docket NumberNo. 40619,40619
Citation42 O.O.2d 1,13 Ohio St.2d 1,233 N.E.2d 500
Parties, 42 O.O.2d 1 DONNELLY et al., Appellants, v. CITY OF FAIRVIEW PARK, Appellee.
CourtOhio Supreme Court

Syllabus by the Court

1. A public body essentially legislative in character may act in an administrative capacity.

2. The test for determining whether the action of a legislative body is legislative or administrative is whether the action taken is one enacting a law, ordinance or regulation, or executing or administering a law, ordinance or regulation already in existence.

3. The failure or refusal of a municipal council to approve a plan for the resubdivision of land which meets the terms of a zoning ordinance already adopted and in existence is an administrative act, and an appeal from such failure or refusal to approve lies to the Court of Common Pleas under Chapter 2506, Revised Code.

Rosalie E. and Vincent E. Donnelly, owners, made application to the city planning commission of the city of Fairview Park to resubdivide sublots Nos. 15 and 31 in the South Park Drive Subdivision of that city.

Section 913.30 of the Fairview Park Zoning Code recites:

'a parcel of land may be divided into two or more zoning lots, provided, all lots resulting from such division shall conform to all area and width regulations of the district in which it is located.'

The resubdivision proposed by the Donnellys came within the provisions of the quoted ordinance, and the planning commission approved the application.

Among other things, Section 2, Subsection (b) of Article VII of the Charter of the city of Fairview Park, reads, in part:

'* * * All plans, recommendations and regulations made by the planning commission shall be submitted to council for approval before the same shall be considered as official.'

The city council declined to act on the acceptance and approval of the Donnelly resubdivision by the planning commission, and the Donnellys appealed under Chapter 2506, Revised Code, to the Court of Common Pleas of Cuyahoga County. That court found that the city council in failing and refusing to approve the decision of the city planning commission under the facts presented was not acting in a legislative capacity but was acting in a quasi-judicial administrative capacity and that the decision of council was properly appealable under Chapter 2506, Revised Code.

It was found further that the decision of the Fairview Park Council was unconstitutional, illegal, arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable and unsupported by the preponderance of substantial, reliable and probative evidence upon the whole record, and the court ordered the Council of Fairview Park to issue its approval of the Donnellys' application.

On an appeal by the city to the Court of Appeals, that court reversed the judgment of the Common Pleas Court and entered final judgment for the city 'for the reason that the order appealed from was a legislative act of the Council of the City of Fairview Park, Ohio, acting in its legislative capacity, and therefore said order was not appealable (to the Court of Common Pleas) under Chapter 2506 of the Ohio Revised Code.'

The cause is here on an appeal as of right and upon the allowance of a motion to require the Court of Appeals to certify the record.

McDonald, Hopkins & Hardy and James B. Davis, Cleveland, for appellants.

Robert M. Krewson, Director of Law, Cleveland, for appellee.

ZIMMERMAN, Judge.

The question for decision is whether the action of a municipal council, in refusing or failing to approve the recommendation of a municipal planning commission as to a resubdivision of real estate which is authorized and sanctioned by a zoning ordinance, is legislative and nonappealable under Chapter 2506, Revised Code, or administrative and appealable under that Chapter.

The resubdivision of their land, as proposed by the Donnellys, accorded with Section 913.30 of the city's zoning code and was approved by the planning commission in compliance with that section. Approval by the city council was likewise...

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    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Ohio
    • March 25, 2016
    ...enacting a law, ordinance, or regulation, or executing a law, ordinance, or regulation already in existence.”Donnelly [v. Fairview Park, 13 Ohio St.2d 1, 233 N.E.2d 500 (Ohio 1968) ], at paragraph two of the syllabus. Thus, city ordinances that adopt final development plans pursuant to pree......
  • Wedgewood v. Township of Liberty, Ohio
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    ..."is whether the action taken is one enacting a law, ordinance or regulation already in existence." Donnelly v. Fairview Park, 13 Ohio St.2d 1, 233 N.E.2d 500 (1968) (refusal of city council to approve plan for re-subdivision of land which complied with terms of existing zoning ordinance was......
  • Beiersdorfer v. Larose
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    ...while administrative action "execut[es] a law, ordinance, or regulation already in existence." Ebersole, 20 N.E.3d at 684 (quoting Donnelly, 233 N.E.2d at 500). [19] And while it is true that boards of elections must examine the petition to determine if it complies with relevant state law, ......
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    ...or regulation, or executing or administering a law, ordinance or regulation already in existence." Donnelly v. Fairview Park (1968), 13 Ohio St.2d 1, 42 O.O.2d 1, 233 N.E.2d 500, paragraph two of the syllabus. " ' * * * The true distinction, therefore, is, between the delegation of power to......
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