MEDINA -- Medina County Common Pleas Judge James Kimbler has ruled in favorofBill Doraty and hisKia dealership on its appeal from a decision of the Medina Township Board of Zoning Appeals.
It's a back and forth battle that has gone on for years.
Kimbler ruled thatinflatables are designed not to move and, therefore, are not restricted by the zoning code.
For the last few years, Doraty has adorned his dealership's roof at the corner of Interstate 71 and state Route 18with seasonable inflatables, everything from shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day, giant gorillas, hamsters and patriotic eagles.
Doraty had beenrepeatedly cited for displaying those inflatables, saying they violated the township zoning code.
He appealed and then afederal court advisory jury and U.S. District Judge Donald C. Nugentruled against him.
Doraty thenapplied for a temporary sign permit from the township's board of zoning appeals and was denied on the grounds that moving signs are not permitted.
It was that decision that he appealed to Kimbler and won.
Ohio law requires that trial judgesconstrue zoning legislation strictly against the zoning authority and liberally in favor of the property owner.
Kimbler said the ambiguity in the code required him to rule in favor of Doraty but added that any inflatables that moved were banned by the township.
Kimblerordered theBoard of Zoning Appeals to have the Zoning Inspector consider whether the temporary permit should be denied for any other reason. The board agreed to issue temporary permits.