Liberty Township trustees will appeal U.S. District Court Judge Algenon Marbley's decision in the Wedgewood Limited Partnership lawsuit against the township even though they agree with part of the ruling, a township press release dated Oct. 29 said.

Liberty Township trustees will appeal U.S. District Court Judge Algenon Marbley's decision in the Wedgewood Limited Partnership lawsuit against the township even though they agree with part of the ruling, a township press release dated Oct. 29 said.

Wedgewood president Charles Ruma filed the lawsuit in 2004 after the township denied the developer a permit to build a 220,528 square-foot Walmart at 10600 Sawmill Parkway, in the Wedgewood Commerce Center.

The trustees said, in the press release, that Marbley's ruling "completely vindicated what the township has stated all along - that the developer, Wedgewood Limited Partnership (WLP) did not have a complying application for the Walmart, and therefore was not entitled to a zoning permit."

The press release also said that since Wedgewood "never had a complying application, the township believes that WLP has no legally compensable damages."

Marbley's ruling supported the township's denial of the permit, stating that the application lacked information necessary for the township to process it. Wedgewood attorneys had asked the court to tell the township to issue the permit; the ruling did not grant that request.

Marbley also said the township had denied Wedgewood president Charles Ruma's constitutional rights by issuing a January 2004 public statement and instructions to the zoning department regarding future administration of the commerce center's development plan, which dates to 1992.

Marbley ruled such new instructions, for a plan that was already approved, are considered a violation of due process.

Such a zoning change would require hearings, but none was held, Marbley wrote.

In the press release the township said, it "disagrees with the court" and believes the January 2004 instructions "regarding the application process merely clarified existing zoning and did not change standards already in existence."

The township also said it "will continue to vigorously seek enforcement of the 500,000-square-foot limit through the state proceedings, and through appeal of the federal court decision."

Marbley's ruling said the township could not enforce its definition of the 500,000-square-foot limit on commercial development in the commerce center. The township said the limit applies to the entire center. Ruma said the limit applies to three subareas of the center. Marbley said Ruma's definition "made the most sense."

Ruma also in 2004 appealed the application denial to the Liberty board of zoning appeals. The BZA upheld that decision in 2005.

Wedgewood appealed the 2005 BZA decision to the Delaware County Common Pleas Court, and Judge W. Duncan Whitney in September 2005 sent it back to the BZA. The BZA last week again upheld the application denial.

That case will be before Whitney again, Wedgewood attorneys have said. A decision about the financial damages owed Wedgewood is still before Marbley.