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A Governmental Function Includes Considering Development Plans

In the case of CR Hill, L.L.C. v. Westlake, 2022-Ohio-693, the Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals held that a city was immune from liability for tort claims arising from the city’s review of development plans.

Here, a private developer argued that the city violated the applicable zoning codes in denying the private developer’s plans. The private developer further argued that such a denial by the city amounted to a “propriety function” rather than a “governmental function” and, therefore, the city was not entitled to political subdivision immunity. The Court disagreed with the private developer.

In concluding that the R.C. 2744.02(B)(2) “proprietary function” exception did not apply, the Court explained that the General Assembly specifically included the review of development plans as a “governmental function.” Specifically, the Court relied upon R.C. 2744.01(C)(2)(p), which defines as a governmental function “[t]he provision or nonprovision of inspection services of all types, including, but not limited to, inspections in connection with building, zoning, sanitation, fire, plumbing, and electrical codes, and the taking of actions in connection with those types of codes, including, but not limited to, the approval of plans for the construction of buildings or structures and the issuance or revocation of building permits or stop work orders in connection with buildings or structures.”

To read this case, click here.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always-changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.

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