Attorneys for church, city, retirement home file motion to dismiss Sheetz lawsuit in Centerville

CENTERVILLE — Attorneys for the City of Centerville, Epiphany Lutheran Church, and Bethany Village are asking for a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit over a rejected gas station.

>>PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Church, city, retirement home sued over opposition to Sheetz development in Centerville

Lawyers representing the church, city, and village filed separate motions on Monday to have the case dismissed, according to court documents.

News Center 7 previously reported that Sheetz first filed a lawsuit against the city in November after the city planning commission approved the plan, but the full city council said no.

On Jan. 31, court documents show Sheetz teamed up with Elsa’s Restaurant and their project developer.

The lawsuit named the city, a retirement home, and a church.

The 50-page lawsuit explains why Sheetz thinks it should be allowed to turn the Elsa’s property into a gas station.

>>RELATED: Sheetz sues Centerville after city approves location, reverses it

They also want the defendants to pay damages.

Sheetz and its co-plaintiffs accuse Centerville, its city council, Bethany Village, and the church next door of trying to tamper with its contract to build on Far Hills Avenue.

The lawsuit mentions six major problems with the city, village, council, and church.

Three main arguments made by Sheetz are: the parties are trying to break a valid contract they acknowledged, have caused damages of at least $25,000, and have all allegedly acted with malice and aggravated fraud.

>>RELATED: ‘The right decision;’ Centerville council votes to reverse decision to build Sheetz gas station

Centerville sent a statement to News Center 7 back in January that said in part:

“The proposed development has generated passionate opinions on all sides ... our top priority remains serving the best interests of all Centerville residents and ensuring businesses remain safe and thriving.”

The lawsuit also mentions Epiphany Evangelical Lutheran Church and its push to get people who live nearby to vote to ban alcohol sales if a new business moves in.

>>RELATED: City planning commission approves plans to build Sheetz in Centerville

>>RELATED: ‘It raises significant questions;’ Centerville Church opposes proposed Sheetz development

It also alleges the church owned the property where Elsa’s sits, and it profited off it until it sold the land and building to the restaurant’s current owner in 2017.

The church responded to the lawsuit in a statement that said it has not “changed its view of the inappropriate and dangerous nature of this development in this location, and despite Sheetz’s, Elsa’s, and Morse Road Development’s intimidation, we will not back down.”

We will continue to follow this story.

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