HOWLAND TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – A judge ruled in favor of protecting the Mosquito Creek Wetlands from a development that would have been built on the land.
The Army Corps of Engineers had approved a permit to move forward with the Enterprise Park project, a development planned by North Eastwood LLC, a subsidiary of the Cafaro Company.
The park would have been built along the Mosquito Creek Wetlands, next to the Eastwood Mall.
On Thursday, a federal judge voided the Army Corps’ decision, preserving the land.
“The Mosquito Creek Wetlands are one of the few remaining pristine urban wetlands in Ohio, and indeed anywhere in the Country,” Friends of the Mahoning River Chair Tom Smith said on Thursday. “These wetlands serve many vital functions, from flood control, to safeguarding water quality, to preserving the biodiversity of our region. The court’s decision vindicates what we have been saying for years: because of surrounding socioeconomic factors and because of the critical ecological value of the wetlands that would be destroyed, this is simply an inappropriate site for this type of development, no matter which healthcare company might have occupied the site.”
The court ruled that the Army Corps’ decision “was based on flawed population and demographic data,” adding that “the failure to use accurate data in its decision-making led the Army Corps to inappropriately reject viable alternative sites.”
“We commend Judge Pearson’s thoughtful decision that the Army Corps’ use of information that the Corps itself acknowledged was flawed necessitated not allowing the project to go forward,” Friends of the Mahoning River stated in a press release.
Joe Bell, a spokesman for the Cafaro Company, said their lawyers are still reviewing the decision and “it would be premature to comment until they’ve fully analyzed it.”