Golf Vill. N., LLC v. City of Powell

Decision Date23 September 2021
Docket NumberNo. 20-4117,20-4117
Parties GOLF VILLAGE NORTH, LLC; Triangle Properties, Inc. ; Golf Village Property Owners Association, Inc., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. CITY OF POWELL, OHIO ; David Betz, in his official capacity as Powell, Ohio's Director of Development, Defendants-Appellees.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Sixth Circuit

ARGUED: Joseph R. Miller, VORYS, SATER, SEYMOUR & PEASE LLP, Columbus, Ohio, for Appellants. Yazan S. Ashrawi, FROST BROWN TODD LLC, Columbus, Ohio, for Appellees. ON BRIEF: Joseph R. Miller, Daniel E. Shuey, Christopher L. Ingram, Elizabeth S. Alexander, VORYS, SATER, SEYMOUR & PEASE LLP, Columbus, Ohio, for Appellants. Yazan S. Ashrawi, Jeremy M. Grayem, FROST BROWN TODD LLC, Columbus, Ohio, for Appellees.

Before: BOGGS, CLAY and KETHLEDGE, Circuit Judges.

CLAY, Circuit Judge.

Plaintiffs Golf Village North, LLC; Triangle Properties, Inc.; and the Golf Village Property Owners Association, Inc. (collectively, "Plaintiffs" or "Golf Village") appeal the district court's dismissal of their amended complaint against the City of Powell, Ohio, and its Director of Development, David Betz, sued in his official capacity (collectively, "Defendants" or "the City"). The amended complaint asserted takings and procedural due process claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well as a trespass claim under state law. The district court dismissed the federal causes of action with prejudice under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state trespass claim, and entered judgment. We AFFIRM .

BACKGROUND
Factual Background

Plaintiffs are three related entities that own, maintain, and administer approximately 900 acres of property in Delaware County, Ohio. The property was acquired in the late 1990s to develop a planned community known as the Golf Village Community. The Golf Village Community is located within the City of Powell.

This is not the first time these litigants have been before us. Their prior appeal involved a zoning dispute. See Golf Village N. LLC v. City of Powell , 826 F. App'x 426 (6th Cir. 2020). In this case, Golf Village claims that the City has taken its property without just compensation or due process by building an entrance to a new municipal park on Golf Village's private street system and refusing to appropriate certain private streets that the City intends the public to use to access the park. Plaintiffs allege that the city has converted the private streets into public roads and that the resulting vast amounts of traffic will make it impossible for them to limit use of their still-private streets, as well as cause wear-and-tear damage to the roads. Golf Village contends that the City's actions have diminished its right to exclude and its right to use and enjoy its property.

Referred to as "Subarea G," the portion of the Golf Village Community relevant to this case is a commercial development that has been divided into eleven separate parcels, one of which is directly owned by Golf Village. In a December 2003 document entitled "Supplemental Declaration of Private Roads, Related Maintenance Obligations, and Common Area Maintenance Obligations," Plaintiff Triangle Properties noted that it would be "beneficial for the prospective owners of all eleven parcels to be able to have use of the private roads ...." (Supplemental Declaration of Private Roads, Related Maintenance Obligations, and Common Area Maintenance Obligations, R. 57-3, Page ID #1199.) The Supplemental Declaration went on to state:

Triangle hereby declares that each owner of the eleven parcels ..., and the employees, customers, and invitees of any of the businesses to be located on any of the parcels, does hereby have a non exclusive permanent easement to use said private roads for pedestrian and automotive ingress and egress to and from Sawmill Parkway.

(Id. ) While Triangle agreed to construct the private roads, "[t]he maintenance (including snow removal), repair and replacement of the private roads, shall be the sole obligation and expense of the owners of the parcels," including Golf Village. (Id. )

In September 2004, the City approved a final plat for the commercial development. The plat stated that the private roads would remain a private responsibility. On the other hand, the document indicated that a lot would be dedicated to the City at a later time to be used as a park. In May 2010, Triangle transferred that lot—approximately twenty-three acres of property—to the City for a municipal park.

Construction plans for "The Park at Seldom Seen" were proposed sometime in 2017 and approved by the City in early 2018. The below image, copied from an exhibit to Golf Village's complaint and as highlighted by the Court, shows the relationship between the commercial properties and the City's park as well as the roads at issue in this case:

(2017 Site Construction Plans, Am. Compl., Ex. A, R. 57-1, Page ID #1180.)1

As the plans above show, the private roads built by Plaintiffs were Market, Moreland, and Sheridan Streets. The plans also show that the entrance to the park is located slightly to the east of the intersection between Moreland and Sheridan Streets. The City's construction plans stated that "[a]pproval of these plans is contingent upon the city securing an access easement to the park from Seldom Road [sic] along Sheridan Street from the property owner." (Id .)

In June 2017, the City contacted Golf Village to obtain an ingress/egress easement from Seldom Seen Road over Sheridan Street. Golf Village refused. Despite the fact that approval of the plans, by their own terms, required securing an easement along Sheridan Road, the City finalized the park construction plan without the easement in February 2018. Moreover, in March 2018, the City told a construction contractor that "[t]he City of Powell has made arrangements for access ... from Sheridan Street ...." (Request for Information #: C-002, Am. Compl., Ex. G., R. 57-7, Page ID #1209.) In April 2018, the City began using Market, Moreland, and Sheridan Streets without Golf Village's permission, physically removed a concrete curb on the east side of Sheridan Street, and built a large construction entrance. This suit followed.

Procedural Background

Golf Village filed its original complaint on April 23, 2018, challenging the City's allegedly unlawful entry onto and destruction of Plaintiffs’ property, as well the City's alleged planned conversion of Sheridan and Moreland Streets from private roads to public streets. (Compl., R. 1, Page ID #3.) Along with the complaint, Golf Village filed a motion for a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, and permanent injunction. The City consented to a sixty-day injunction "from accessing the City's public park property from Sheridan and Moreland Streets" (5-7-18 Order, R. 20, Page ID #380.), as well as from making any incursion onto certain other Golf Village property. The parties later agreed to extend the injunction for thirty days. The City informed the district court that it might initiate a "quick-take" eminent domain action under Ohio law, and the district court ordered the City to inform it if the City began those proceedings so that the district court could determine whether they rendered moot Golf Village's request for injunctive relief.

On August 9, 2018, the district court issued an opinion and order granting in part and denying in part Plaintiffsrequest for injunctive relief. Specifically, the district court granted Golf Village's request for a preliminary injunction, denied as moot its request for a temporary restraining order, and denied a permanent injunction. The district court determined that there was a substantial likelihood that Plaintiffs would succeed on their claim that the City had trespassed on Sheridan and Moreland Streets, as well as Golf Village's property.

Two months later, the City moved to dissolve the preliminary injunction because "any alleged trespass has been resolved since the Court's order—more specifically, the City has filed a quick-take eminent domain action to acquire the necessary property for its public purpose—that warrant[s] the dissolution of the preliminary injunction." (Mot. to Dissolve Prelim. Inj., R. 34, Page ID #479.) Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code § 163.06, the City declared its intent to take immediate possession of Sheridan and Moreland Streets, as well as a portion of Golf Village's undeveloped property, and deposited a check with the clerk of court for the appraised value of the property appropriated. The City contended that, having fulfilled these statutory prerequisites, it was entitled to take immediate possession of the contested property. Golf Village opposed the motion, arguing that these quick-take procedures were not authorized under Ohio law and that the City had not declared its intention to take possession of the entirety of Moreland Street that was subject to the injunction. The district court granted the City's motion and stayed the case until the state quick-take action was resolved.

Nearly a year later, on November 7, 2019, Golf Village filed a motion for leave to file an amended complaint. Even though the state quick-take action had not been completed, Golf Village pointed to the Supreme Court's intervening decision in Knick v. Township of Scott , ––– U.S. ––––, 139 S. Ct. 2162, 204 L.Ed.2d 558 (2019), which held that a property owner could bring a takings claim in federal court without first seeking just compensation in state court. While Golf Village acknowledged the pending quick-take action, it requested "leave to amend its Complaint to add a claim for a Fifth Amendment taking of the remainder of the private streets already at issue in this litigation," namely, "the remainder of Moreland Street or Market Street." (Mot. for Leave to File a First Am. Compl., R. 52, Page IDs ##728–29.) The district court granted the motion. The district court also lifted the...

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