FAIRLAWN: The ongoing dispute involving Walmart’s relocation from Rosemont Commons in Fairlawn to Copley Township may result in getting a ticket if you try to bypass the newly installed gate system on Rosemont Boulevard.
Following Monday night’s city council meeting, anyone caught driving around the newly installed Rosemont Boulevard gates could face repercussions. The list of consequences includes getting a warning to a more severe citation.
Mayor William Roth said it’s “just a minor misdemeanor, a common sense offense.”
The ordinance, which creates section 414.13, “Traveling upon or around a closed roadway,” was supported by all but two members of council. Susan Sullivan, from Ward 5, felt passing this ordinance was a bit premature. She would have preferred the council wait on the judge’s decision involving the Walmart case.
Summit County Common Pleas Judge Allison McCarty has no rule on whether Fairlawn has a legal right to shut down Rothrock Road so that the only access is from state Route 18.
“Because the court hasn’t made a decision yet, I didn’t feel that it was time to close that road [Rosemont Boulevard] until they gave us their opinion,” Sullivan said.
Council member Kathleen Baum’s reasoning was very similar. She was concerned that pushing any kind of legislation forward this soon could leave the city open for a lawsuit in the future. Her skepticism was based on the possibility that a recipient of a citation could turn that against the city.
“What if the judge says that road can’t be closed? “Baum said. “Do they get their money back, is there going to be a lawsuit?”
Mayor William Roth is confident the new law will deter people from bypassing the Rosemont Boulevard gate system, but he is also aware that certain individuals will not respond well to the new laws. He has even stated that some people have even tried to drive around the barriers.
“You know human nature, there’s always going to be somebody that wants to play by their own rules,” Roth said.