The lawyer representing a Springboro homeowners association has been given more time to respond to a state lawsuit over the condition of a dam in the Settler’s Walk neighborhood.
Judge Robert Peeler on Thursday gave lawyer Scott Oxley until Oct. 18 to weigh in on the claims in the lawsuit filed by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office on behalf of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
The lawsuit filed Aug. 2 claims the HOA and MCS Development, owner of a strip center anchored by Dorothy Lane Market, failed to take action after multiple safety inspections of the Remick Lake dam by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources found it needs repairs.
“The owners of this dam have shrugged off the state’s warnings for over a decade at the expense of the public’s safety,” Attorney General Dave Yost said in a release issued after the lawsuit was filed.“It’s well past time for them to accept responsibility of this hazard and make the necessary repairs.”
The dam is located on a large pond off Remick Boulevard between homes and the shopping center at the entrance to the development off Ohio 741, Main Street in Springboro.
It is categorized as a Class I dam, meaning a “sudden failure would result in either the probable loss of life or the structural collapse of at least one residence or one commercial or industrial business,” according to the lawsuit.
If the dam failed, the lawsuit claims its spillways would direct floodwater toward a day care center, the strip mall and eight homes located downstream.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources wants the HOA and MCS to realign the dam’s emergency spillway, repair its principal spillway and install a lake drain capable of draining the reservoir in a reasonable amount of time.
The HOA took ownership of its part of the dam on March 19, 1998, according to the lawsuit. MCS “acquired the property where part of the dam is located on Sept. 1, 2000.”
The state leaves it to the courts to decide the property rights and responsibilities in the case.
“However, the determination and extent of property rights and interests are within the exclusive jurisdiction of Ohio’s courts,” said the initial complaint filed by Assistant Attorney General Amber Lucci for Yost.
The lawsuit urged Peeler to order the HOA and MCS to comply with state law; and submit “an acceptable schedule” to repair or breach the dam in 30 days and complete work in six months.
It was unclear why Oxley needed an extension. He could not be reached for comment.
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