Citizens For A Better Norwood

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Update on Norwood case fallout

The fat lady continues to sing

Attorneys for developer Jeff Anderson, Norwood, and the 3 victorious hold-ons appeared in Judge Beth Myers' courtroom February 28th to continue the hard work of sorting through the aftermath of the eminent domain decision. According to sources close to the action, it remains as true as ever that Ohio law lends nothing to the process of deciding who, if anyone, must restore the severely damaged buildings (estimates to repair just one of them is close to $100,000) to their pre-eminent domain condition; who, if anyone, must repair/restore the utilities to the properties; who, if anyone, must repair/restore the damaged streets. With regard to the latter, we’re told a high ranking Norwood official has said the best Norwood can do is bring in a hose and hose them down. One source tells us that without precedent to turn to settle these and other issues, because nothing like the Norwood decision has ever transpired in Ohio, the grueling legal work ahead makes everything leading up the Supremes' decision almost look like the easy part. And that’s saying something.

Regardless of which side anyone is on, perhaps all can agree on this one point: huge prices, monetary and otherwise, have been and are being paid for an Ohio Supreme Court decision that delivered a measure of private property rights’ protections statewide. Locally, with Anderson having taken Exchange development off the table, we will likely endure years of an 11-acre eyesore that now generates rock-bottom property taxes (see 2/21/07 blog re Anderson's "land values" only reassessments) compared to pre-e.d. times. For others, friendships/relationships have been strained or lost forever, finances damaged, health put at risk, images tarnished; and that’s the short list. Who knows what further toll will be exacted from what sources tell us will be a long and excruciating process with Judge Myers? Then there’s always the possibility of lengthy appeals if she makes rulings unacceptable to the affected parties. And here we thought the fat lady was close to finishing her song. From the sounds of it, she was just warming up.