January Term, 2012
that lies wholly in Middletown, Ohio. The Middletown property, known as theMartin-Bake property, is central to this appeal.
The Martin-Bake property includes 157 acres of land. BeforeAugust 2008, the Martin-Bake property was zoned only for low-densityresidential use. Although one side of the parcel abuts space zoned for industrialuse, the Martin-Bake property is largely bordered by nonindustrial properties,such as residential housing, a church, a school, and a nursing facility. But throughtwo enactments, Ordinance No. 02008-63 and Ordinance No. 02008-64,Middletown rezoned the Martin-Bake property into a general industrial zone andrevised a setback provision that had required all industrial activities to be 600 feetfrom the property line, eliminating that requirement for activities that are“incidental or ancillary” to the manufacturing process. By doing so, Middletownpermitted the Martin-Bake property to be transformed dramatically.
A general industrial zone in Middletown, called an “I-2 District,”is “intended to accommodate those industrial uses which cannot entirely eliminatecertain objectionable features and influences, but which must, nevertheless, beaccommodated within the urban area.” Middletown Zoning Code 1258.01. As anI-2 District, the Martin-Bake property could be used for a wide array of pursuits,including the manufacturing, compounding, processing, packaging, or assemblyof electric and gas appliances, as well as the manufacturing of acid, asphalt,bleach, concrete, helium, hydrogen, insecticides, lye, oxygen, “poison of anykind,” radium, “soda ash or caustic soda or similar chemical products,” fuelbriquettes, fertilizers, gelatin, animal glue, turpentine, rubber, and soap.Middletown Zoning Code 1258.02(b)(1), (3), (4), and (10). It also could house afoundry, junk yard, or power-generating station. Middletown Zoning Code1258.02(b)(5) and (c)(4) and (6).
The property owners, however, allege that the ordinances clearedthe way for construction of a coke plant that would be owned and operated by