“Appropriation,” “eminent domain,” “condemnation” and “takings” are all terms that commonly refer to the government’s ability to take property for public use. However, there are limitations on this power from both the U.S. and Ohio Constitutions, as well as safeguards in the Ohio Revised Code, that protect landowners. Here are five important things to remember if you or your land becomes involved in an eminent domain situation:
1. Prior to filing a petition to appropriate land, the government must complete an appraisal, give notice to the landowners, and make a good faith offer to purchase the property.
2. If faced with eminent domain, a landowner should engage a private attorney and obtain a private appraisal as soon as possible.
3. Any eminent domain project must be necessary and for a public purpose. Eminent domain solely for the purpose of economic development or redevelopment by a private entity does not meet the public use requirement under Ohio law.
4. Certain agencies and projects have the power of “quick take” which allows them to bypass some of the eminent domain requirements. This is most commonly used for emergency situations and for building public roads.
5. Farmers have special protections in eminent domain situations, including the possibility of attorney costs and additional Ohio Department of Agriculture review of the project in certain situations.
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For further explanation of these tips and more information on eminent domain, Ohio Farm Bureau members can download the full brochure in the attachment above.
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