Liberty Township denies it violated a contract with the city of Powell, but is willing to discuss the issue with city officials.

Liberty Township denies it violated a contract with the city of Powell, but is willing to discuss the issue with city officials.

On Aug. 7, the city alleged the township defaulted on the cooperative economic development agreement because of recent actions by township Trustee Peggy Guzzo.

Liberty and Powell signed the CEDA to define how township land can be annexed.

In an Aug. 22 letter, the township officially denied Powell's allegations.

Liberty Township's documents said individuals are not legal parties to the CEDA, only city council and the township trustees as elected bodies.

Powell's documents said the township must remedy the breach within 90 days of receiving the city's letter, "or concede that the breach is incurable and request negotiations concerning the appropriate remedy."

The township letter said no remedy is needed, but the township is interested in discussing the issue with the city and hearing what the city has in mind.

"So that any such discussions might be productive, the board of trustees simply asks that Powell council be specific in its declaration as to what 'remedy' Powell is seeking ... as a result of the alleged default."

Because of the legal nature of the issue, city manager Steve Lutz declined comment on the township's letter. City council will discuss the township's letter in executive session at its next meeting Sept. 2, he said.

Powell contends the township violated the CEDA when Guzzo helped Powell residents with an initiative petition designed to limit the size of retail buildings in Powell's section of the Sawmill Parkway Corridor.

Guzzo wrote and signed, as trustee, a June press release announcing the initiative and the reactivation of a political action group called Citizens Action Protecting Greater Powell (CAPP). She also donated $420 of her own money to pay for an attorney, who advised the group on the initiative petition.

Guzzo has said she acted as a private citizen, helping people who approached her for help. The signatures on the petition were approved by the Delaware County Board of Elections on July 16. Powell council adopted the petition as an ordinance on Aug. 19.

The initiative establishes a 10,000-square-foot limit for single-use retail buildings and a 65,000-square-foot limit for multiple-use retail buildings in the Sawmill Parkway corridor in Powell. The initiative would have been placed on the November general election ballot had council had not adopted it.

Powell documents contended Guzzo's actions "unlawfully impose severe restrictions on landowners within the CEDA area and otherwise interfered with the zoning and development control of property which has been annexed to Powell."