A federal magistrate has agreed to delay a hearing on enforcing the settlement of a more than three-year-long legal battle over the demolition of a former downtown Youngstown restaurant.

U.S. District Magistrate Carmen Henderson signed an order Wednesday setting an April 18 hearing on a motion from Two Bridges LLC alleging that the City of Youngstown was two months late making good on an agreement announced in December to settle Two Bridge's claim that the building that once housed Anthony's on the River restaurant on Oak Hill Avenue in 2020 without adequate notification.

A hearing on the motion set for today was delayed at the request of Two Bridges after their attorneys learned that legislation authorizing payment of the settlement isn't scheduled to be considered by the City Council until April 17.

Fire Chief Barry Finley ordered the demolition of the building on August 22, 2020, after declaring it an emergency fire hazard because the roof sank in.

In 2018, Two Bridges purchased the building which had been vacant for four years.

Claiming the building was worth $150,000 before demolition, the property owners alleged in their lawsuit that the city ordinance allowing emergency demolition contains no provision for notifying owners beforehand in violation of state law and constitutional due process.

The city says it mailed several notices to Two Bridges in the spring and summer of 2019 advising that the building was in unacceptable condition it sent the notices directly to the vacant building. No one at Two Bridges received the notices.

The city also mailed notices directly to the property owner at two other business addresses. However, the mailings were returned by the U.S. Postal Services unclaimed.

Earlier last year, an appellate court denied Youngstown’s challenge to a lower court’s findings that the city wasn't immune from the lawsuit under state law.

The property owners sought damages, attorney fees, and a declaration that the terms of Youngstown’s emergency demolition ordinance were unconstitutional.

In mid-December, court documents showed that a draft agreement had been reached through mediation between the city and property owners Two Bridges LLC.

Representing Two Bridges, Attorney Charles Dunlap filed a motion claiming the city has failed to respond to the owner’s request for a signed agreement and a check in the amount of the settlement.

Claiming the settlement is two months late, the property owners wanted the court to order the city to make the payment, as well as pay for legal fees.