Judge says he will rule this week on latest challenge to TJX pro - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Judge says he will rule this week on latest challenge to TJX project in Lordstown

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LORDSTOWN, Ohio -

After a day-long hearing, Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Peter Kontos said he will issue his ruling Friday on a permanent injunction being sought by Lordstown property owners to block construction of a TJX Home Goods distribution center in the village. 

Twenty-four property owners are challenging what they said is unconstitutional a house bill that allowed Lordstown Village Council to approve zone changes for the TJX project and to move up a special election on the issue.

Residents said the plaintiffs waited too long to make their challenge and they should have acted when council voted for the zone changes.

Instead, they filed petitions for a referendum. 

"The house bill allowed for the special election and they went along with the special election. It wasn't until they lost the election that they went back and challenged the constitutionally of the house bill," said Matt Ries, legal counsel for the village. 

He said the referendum that they petitioned for was their remedy by law.

The village also contends that the plaintiffs failed to show how they would suffer irreverable harm from the project, offering only speculation about noise, traffic and flooding.

The plaintiffs argued that there is no guarantee that TJX will follow through on committments to address those concerns, including a more than 100-acre conservation buffer zone.

Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill said he believes those commitments were made in good faith and that they will be included in the final site plan. 

The Mayor, who has fought long and hard for this project, feels confident the village will prevail. 

 "I'm very optimistic to say the least. I think the other side wasn't able to prove their case, in my opinion, and hopefully the judge sees it that way," said Mayor Hill.

Judge Peter Kontos denied the village's motion for dismissal, saying there is too much information for him to review, but that he will issued his ruling on Friday.

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