State appeals in development fight over 18-acre wetlands

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state is appealing a judge’s decision that would allow commercial development of an 18-acre wetlands area surrounded by roads, houses and parking lots in booming suburban Columbus.

The appeal is the latest twist in a tug-of-war for the property the state once hoped to swap for a bigger natural area a few miles away.

That 2012 deal would have allowed the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to give the 18-acre site to a Columbus developer in exchange for forty-three acres along the Olentangy (oh-lehn-TANJ’-ee) River in central Ohio.

The developer sued the state after it pulled out of the deal because of public opposition.

Franklin County Judge Christopher Brown ruled earlier this month the state had to honor the deal. The state appealed last week.

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