Copley Township, Jacob Pollock Attorneys Rest in Rothrock Road Trial
Tuesday was the ninth day of trial in the Copley v. Fairlawn Rothrock Road closure trial.
Plaintiff attorneys for Copley Township and Jacob Pollock officially rested their case Tuesday after hearing testimony from Dan Zarkovacki, part owner of the Fairway Park Apartments.
Summit County Common Pleas Judge Alison McCarty allowed Fairlawn to call witnesses before the plaintiffs rested because Pollock's attorney Jordan Berns couldn't schedule Zarkovacki to be in the courtroom any earlier.
Berns asked Zarkovacki several questions about the building of a proposed Walmart and Sam's Club complex on Rothrock Road and the filing of litigation challenging the zoning of the area.
Zarkovacki said the litigation was filed by Fairway Park Apartments against Copley Township. He also testified Herb Newman and Robert Stark, owners of Rosemont Commons and several other plazas, are paying the attorney's fees for the case.
The testimony was stricken from the record after Fairlawn attorney Stephen Funk said it was irrelevant to Fairlawn's case and that the litigation had nothing to do with Fairlawn.
Also on Tuesday, Fairlawn called Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) Director Jason Segedy to the stand.
Back in 2010, AMATS performed a study on the Rothrock Road area after learning Walmart and Sam's Club wanted to relocate from Rosemont Commons. Segedy said no one asked AMATS to do the study, he wanted it done because he had concerns about the area.
Segedy was on the stand for five and a half hours Tuesday.
"I had concerns about the traffic in Montrose," Segedy said. "Those concerns were echoed by AMATS in 1989 when the land was rezoned (by Copley to commercial). Montrose is a poster child for how not to plan anything. It's a sensitive area in our area because it's such a huge retail jobs location. There's a lot of public interest to protect traffic through there."
Funk asked Segedy to describe the way AMATS classifies roads and whether Segedy considers Rothrock a principal highway.
Segedy said under AMATS' classification, Rothrock is a local road because it does not carry through traffic. Segedy clarified that some people may use Rothrock to get to a residential or commercial area, but he thought very few people actually traveled it end to end. Segedy does not think Rothrock is a principal highway, however he said he would consider bumping the classification up to a local collector road because it does connect travelers to large commercial areas.
"When I think of principal highway, I think of principal arterial roads, like state Route 18," Segedy said. "It gets people from one municipality to another and it carries a lot more traffic than Rothrock Road."
On a daily basis, Rothrock carries roughly 3,000 cars, Segedy said. Compared to West Market (SR 18) which carries around 20,000 cars per day.
In the 2010 AMATS report, Segedy studied the effects of traffic if Walmart and Sam's were to build and a full buildout of the commercial area followed. His report said traffic will quadruple on Rothrock Road if it is left open.
If Rothrock Road is closed, Segedy said the city will take a bad (traffic) situation and make it worse.
"Which is why our stance is to not have any development on Rothrock Road," Segedy said.
The trial will continue on June 26 at 9 a.m. Tune in to Fairlawn-Bath Patch for a live feed.