Ironton resident claiming hotel work devaluing property

Published 11:11 am Thursday, January 30, 2014

An Ironton resident is claiming developers of the new Holiday Inn Express and Suites are devaluing her property and is asking for construction to halt pending an impact study.

Rosetta Roberts, who lives in the 400 block of South Tenth Street, behind the construction site, appeared in Common Pleas Judge D. Scott Bowling’s courtroom Wednesday for an initial hearing on a complaint she filed against the developers, MPH Hotels of St. Petersburg, Fla., on Dec. 5.

In her complaint, Roberts alleges the developers “did willfully and wantonly cause damage to the plaintiff’s (Roberts’) property value.”

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She also says in the complaint that she was led to believe that her view would be “unencumbered to look over the parking area.”

“Now the pouring of footers have outlined the building as such has been purposely and with malice so as to put a three-to-five story building directly across from the plaintiff’s property, thus blocking any visibility from public view.”

Roberts goes on to request the construction of the hotel to stop so an impact study can be conducted to determine the effects the hotel will have on her property.

Kevin Waldo, Ironton attorney representing the defense and who filed a motion to dismiss the case on Jan. 14, said Roberts’ complaint “contains no averment which would illicit a legal response,” and further said the complaint was “very vague and an illusory list of things that don’t have any legal impact.”

Bowling agreed that there were some “procedural defects” in Roberts’ complaint and encouraged her to hire an attorney.

“It’s going to be nearly impossible unless you obtain an attorney,” Bowling said.

Roberts represented herself Wednesday, citing she was unable to obtain an attorney at this point who didn’t have a conflict of interest with the building project. She asked Bowling to continue the case until she could get representation.

Bowling set another hearing at 2 p.m. on Feb. 19.

In other cases:

Shawn Delong, 36, of 264 Private Road 349, Ironton, pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree count of grand theft and a fifth-degree count of receiving stolen property.

Bowling sentenced the man to 12 months in prison.

Gary Stephens, 45, of 461 Township Road 1055, Proctorville, pleaded guilty to four counts of fourth-degree trafficking in drugs (oxycodone).

Bowling sentenced the man to two years in prison, a $1,250 fine and a six-month driver’s license suspension.

Christopher Lovins, 34, of Huntington, W.Va., admitted probation violations and was sentenced to six months in prison.