Lawsuit: Neighbor, City of Highland Heights, Contractor Sued Over Driveway Project
The City of Highland Heights, Mayor Greg Meyers, Planning and Zoning Chair Steve Crawford, and multiple John and Jane Does are named as defendants in a lawsuit filed against them by a Highland Heights resident in the continuing driveway controversy that The River City News has previously reported on.
SEE PREVIOUSLY: Council members clash over driveway
Gary Hunter, along with his wife Jennifer, hired attorney Todd McMurtry and filed the lawsuit last week.
The suit claims that the defendants violated the Hunters’ Fifth Amendment rights by building an illegal private driveway on a property in front of the Hunters’ house, thus devaluing the Hunters’ home and taking their rights without just compensation.
The suit also claims that once the city gives up public use of a street for private purposes, interested parties must be notified. The Hunters claim to be interested in the property, currently under Jaysac (Crawford’s privately owned company) control.
However, the Hunters claim to have first right to the property and assert they were not given due process by the city to acquire the property from the city as required by state law. The Hunters allege that because the city illegally handed control of the street to Jaysac, the suit accuses the city of diminishing the value of the Hunters’ home “without due process or just compensation”, thus violating their Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights under the Constitution.
Finally, the suit claims that the city has illegally spent a total $9369.69 on the Jillian Ct. project, a figure that was released when Hunter filed an open records request in August, which The River City News acquired.
Through litigation and a jury trial demand, the Hunters seek money damages, declaratory, and injunctive relief.
The lawsuit also contains two photos of the end of Jillian Court, one before Jaysac removed the “landscape buffer” and one after the buffer was removed and the City graded the property. Dirt from NKU was also used, as well as gravel.
Gary Hunter has attended multiple council meetings in the past year, objecting to the work that has been done in front of his house. In a meeting in August, Hunter threatened litigation against the City of Highland Heights and Steve Crawford.
Continue to follow The River City News as this story develops. The lawsuit can be viewed in its entirety below.
Written by Clayton Castle, RCN contributor
Image via Planning & Development Services