Citizens For A Better Norwood

Friday, June 01, 2007

Eminent domain bill passes Ohio Senate, would have protected Norwood holdons

Today’s Enquirer reports that yesterday, the Ohio Senate approved an eminent bill with new protections for Ohio property owners at both the local and state levels. Gone is the ability for governments to seize property if the primary reason is for economic development. Attorney Tim Burke lost the argument for economic development in the Norwood case when the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Ohio’s constitution does not allow that to be the primary reason for taking property.

Next, the House must pass a version of the bill, and that could take months. At issue are what percentage of a neighborhood must be “blighted” before eminent domain can be used, whether or not legal fees must be paid to litigants whose properties are wrongfully seized for public road projects, and who must sign off on eminent domain actions.

Although the Senate also voted to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would assure the new eminent law would be applied uniformly across the state, Rep. Bill Seitz says getting the required three-fifths majority vote in the House will be difficult.