Hilliard law director Tracy Bradford said March 9 the Supreme Court of Ohio has denied a motion for the city to reimburse Keep Hilliard Beautiful for its legal fees associated with Issue 9.
In the case of State ex rel. Carrier v. Hilliard City Council, Bradford said, the Supreme Court denied a motion for attorney fees in the amount of $14,060.
In December, Hilliard City Council, citing an opinion from hired legal counsel, rejected legislation to place Issue 9 on the ballot. In response, Keep Hilliard Beautiful sought and obtained a writ of mandamus from the Supreme Court that compelled City Council to place Issue 9 on the ballot.
Keep Hilliard Beautiful further asked that Hilliard City Council be required to pay its legal fees, but that motion was denied, Bradford said.
"I think it vindicates City Council’s decision (to reject the ordinance in December) … and that (those objections) had merit," she said.
The city's own legal fees are about $48,000, Bradford said.
City Councilman Les Carrier, one of the founding members of Keep Hilliard Beautiful, said he is disappointed with the ruling.
Issue 9 would prohibit rezonings by emergency action of City Council and ban tax-increment-financing districts for residential uses.
Voters will determine the fate of Issue 9 on March 15.