Skatepark lawsuit dismissed

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Fairfield County Common Pleas Court dismissed a lawsuit filed against the city of Pickerington by the Huntworks Gardens apartments.

The lawsuit filed last May accused the city of violating its own noise ordinance.  Residents in the retirement community hear the swish-bang of skateboarders at Sycamore Park despite the tree lined creek separating their apartments from the skatepark.

The court ruled the city was immune to the lawsuit and dismissed the case.

The judgment cited Ohio Revised Code 2744.02 that states a city is not liable for damages connected to it performing a governmental function.

Pickerington Law Director Phillip Hartmann said the case might return to court because the prosecution’s brief was not considered in the judgment. If the court decides not to reconsider the case, Huntwork may decide to appeal the ruling.

"Either way, it’s good news for the city," Hartman said,

Huntwork’s attorney Steve Davis said he filed the lawsuit after his client met with the city on several occasions with no improvement to the noise level. Huntwork sought damages for an unspecified amount in excess of $25,000.

"We just want them to fix the problem. Skateparks across the country have found materials and locations which do not interfere with residents enjoying their homes," Davis said. "The (idea that) the only city in the world where it cannot be done is Pickerington should be looked at with great skepticism."

The city was willing to work with Huntwork, but "what they wanted to have done was too cost prohibitive," Hartmann said.

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