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eminent domain News Archive

Construction of the new I-90 interchange at Nagel Road in Avon is on schedule, and contractors say it should open in spring 2013. The City is still trying to finalize eminent domain agreements with several property owners. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Clinic officially opened its new Richard E. Jacobs Health Center in Avon and closed the Westlake Family Health Center.

A disagreement between the Ohio Department of Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway over land for the new Innerbelt Bridge threatens to delay and add costs to the construction project.

Update: ODOT will purchase 50 acres from Norfolk Southern for $29.8 million. It's more land than the agency needs and more money than it wanted to spend.

Avon City Council added two sites to the list of properties the City is seeking to acquire through eminent domain for the planned I-90 interchange at Nagel Road, bringing the total to 14 properties. Mayor Smith of Avon wants the City to manage construction of the interchange instead of the Ohio Department of Transportation, and a Morning Journal editorial says that state leaders should consider the proposal.

Update: the City reached an agreement to purchase the two properties.

The City of Avon has been unable to reach purchase agreements with the owners of 12 properties needed for the planned I-90 interchange at Nagel Road. Avon City Council yesterday voted to begin the eminent domain process for acquiring the land.

Update: the Sun Sentinel and the Press of Avon Lake have more details.

While the City of Avon has reached purchase agreements with many of the 31 property owners at the site of the planned I-90 interchange at Nagel Road, it is preparing to take 11 of them to court in an effort to determine a purchase price. Avon City Council also approved expanding the interchange TIF district to encompass 116 parcels.

Update: the Press of Avon Lake has more details.

The planned Opportunity Corridor will affect residents and business in Cleveland's Buckeye, Fairfax, Kinsman, and Slavic Village neighborhoods, and area leaders intend to ensure that the proposed boulevard benefits their neighborhoods. The Ohio Department of Transportation will hold six public meetings between October 5 and October 7.

Northeast Ohio furniture makers will hold the the first Cleveland Furniture and Millwork Fair at the Halle Building in July. It will serve as a test of the Cleveland District of Design concept.

A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge voided the sheriff's sale of the Cleveland Cold Storage building. The Ohio Department of Transportation still intends to demolish the building to make way for the planned new Innerbelt Bridge, but now may have to pay a higher price in its eminent domain acquisition.

Last Friday, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John O'Donnell held a hearing on the Cleveland Cold Storage building ownership dispute. ODOT intends to demolish the building for the new Innerbelt Bridge. Also on Friday, the Cleveland City Planning Commission approved a resolution of support for bicycle and pedestrian access on the new bridge.

Update: on Feagler & Friends, Dan Moulthrop spoke with ODOT District 12 Deputy Director Bonnie Teeuwen about the bridge plans.

The Plain Dealer and Channel 3 have more details about the dispute between the Ohio Department of Transportation and Fred Finley, owner of the Cleveland Cold Storage building.

Update: a judge returned control of the building to Finley pending a January hearing.

The owner of the Cleveland Cold Storage building says that he has been treated unfairly by the Ohio Department of Transportation. Also known as the Distribution Terminal Warehouse, it is one of several historic buildings that ODOT intends to demolish for the planned new Innerbelt Bridge.

The Garfield Heights company that was fighting its eviction reached a settlement with the City.

A business on Transportation Boulevard is contesting an eviction notice filed by the City of Garfield Heights. Last month, the City took ownership of the building that houses the company.

The City of Garfield Heights is attempting to evict tenants from buildings it is acquiring via eminent domain. The City intends to take 56 parcels for roads leading to the under construction Bridgeview Crossing shopping center.

Garfield Heights City Council approved the use of eminent domain for 20 parcels needed for the Bridgeview Crossing shopping center.

Construction of the Bridgeview Crossing shopping center in Garfield Heights is behind schedule. It was originally scheduled to open in November 2008, but the first stores are not expected to open until March 2009.

Bahman Guyuran is now proposing a mixed-use development on 42 acres at I-480 and Hadden Road. The previous proposal called for a large shopping mall. The Summit County Planning Commission will review the project, which will also be considered by the Twinsburg Zoning Commission at 7:00 p.m. this Monday.

Developer Scott Wolstein agreed to purchase a two acre parking lot on Front Avenue from James Kassouf for $2.9 million. It was the last property Wolstein needed for his Flats east bank development. He hopes to begin demolition and site preparation in the coming months.

State Senator Kevin Coughlin introduced a reworked version of his rejected eminent domain constitutional amendment, and hopes to get in on the ballot in November 2008.

Representatives of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority and property owner James Kassouf have until Wednesday to reach a purchase agreement for a two acre parking lot needed for the planned Flats east bank development. If they are unable to settle on a price, the eminent domain lawsuit may be reopened.

Bahman Guyuron, a Lyndhurst-based plastic surgeon, wants to build a shopping center on 90 acres in Twinsburg and Twinsburg Township. He owns all but one property in the area south of I-480 and east of Hadden Road, and the Twinsburg Township Trustees initiated the process to acquire the remaining property via eminent domain in March. The development would require the Twinsburg Township portion to be rezoned from residential to commercial, and Guyuron also wants the City and Township to establish a JEDD.

Governor Strickland signed Senate Bill 7 yesterday, enacting the eminent domain legislation. Some feel that the law is too restrictive, while the bill's sponsor says that it is too weak without the rejected companion constitutional amendment.

Yesterday, the Ohio House and Senate agreed on revisions to Senate Bill 7, which will permit the use of eminent domain only when 70% of the targeted properties are blighted. The proposed constitutional amendment that would have nullified local eminent domain laws will not appear on the November ballot, because it did not obtain the required three-fifths majority in the House.

(via Build on This)

The Ohio House passed House Bill 5, which would establish statewide blight standards for the exercise of eminent domain by local governments. The definitions are not as stringent as those called for by a similar Ohio Senate bill. The two bills will likely be reconciled in a conference committee, and an Akron Beacon Journal editorial says that "House leaders should hold firm" and should not split the difference between the two bills. The House has not voted on the eminent domain constitutional amendment issue that was approved by the Senate.

(Update: Governor Strickland indicated that he would consider vetoing the bill because it is "hugely limiting" to cities.)

Developer Scott Wolstein was able to reach purchase agreements with all but one property owner and end eminent domain proceedings for his Flats east bank development. The settlements call for him to pay $17 million for 11 properties, more than twice the Port Authority's appraised values. Wolstein has been unable to reach an accord with James Kassouf for a parking lot north of Front Street. The Port Authority appraised the site at $640,000, and Kassouf is asking for $3.55 million.

A Plain Dealer editorial says that Mayor Jackson's decision to create a nearby adult entertainment district "signals that Cleveland's mayor can help play the role of deal maker."

Independence City Council is considering taking the Marycrest site on Brookside Road by eminent domain to prevent St. Maron's Church from moving to the property. The Planning Commission tabled the Church's request for a permit to build, and the Church's attorney says they will sue the City if it isn't granted.

As part of the negotiations to end eminent domain proceedings for the Flats east bank development, Mayor Jackson proposed the creation of an adult entertainment district in the Flats that would house up to three strip clubs. Developer Scott Wolstein has reached "agreements in principle" with three of the four property owners in the suspended eminent domain trial.

A Plain Dealer editorial says that the eminent domain bills passed by the Ohio Senate "essentially sway the balance so far toward the property owner that cities would have hardly any ability to influence their destinies," and urges the Ohio House to "bring reason to a realm too often ruled by emotion."

Judge Corrigan recessed the Flats east bank eminent domain trial yesterday after hearing testimony that at least one property owner was close to reaching an agreement with the Port Authority. Corrigan told a Port Authority official, "If I were you, I would settle this case just as fast as I can."

The Ohio Senate passed two bills that would limit the use of eminent domain. One establishes a statewide definition of blight. The Ohio House has also taken up the issue, and is expected to vote on it next week, but there are significant differences between the bills. The other bill was for a proposed constitutional amendment that would appear on the November ballot and would eliminate home rule eminent domain provisions. Northeast Ohio officials oppose both measures.

On Thursday, appraiser Roger Ritley testified in the Flats east bank eminent domain trial, and on Friday, developer Scott Wolstein testified for 3½ hours.

Yesterday, former Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell testified in the Flats east bank eminent domain trial. She said that she supported eminent domain as a last resort. Developer Scott Wolstein is scheduled to testify later in the trial.

In the opening arguments of the Flats east bank eminent domain trial yesterday, attorneys for Flats landowners charged that the Port Authority has not negotiated fairly, while Port Authority lawyers argued that the project would provide multiple public benefits.

The Flats east bank eminent domain trial began this morning. It's expected to last at least two weeks. If Judge Corrigan finds that the Port Authority has met the eminent domain standards, the trial will shift to a second phase where a jury will decide on land prices.

In the latest installment of their Making Change series, WCPN reports on an eminent domain forum held yesterday at CSU, which featured keynote speaker Jeff Finkle of the International Economic Development Council.

Mayor Currin of Hudson, chair of the Northeast Ohio Mayors and Managers Association, says that the eminent domain restrictions under discussion in the Ohio Legislature would impede economic development.

The Flats east bank eminent domain trial is scheduled to begin on May 7. It's expected to last at least two weeks.

A new poll conducted by Quinnipiac University found that the majority of Ohio voters oppose the use of eminent domain in any circumstances. "Voters just do not like eminent domain," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

(via Planetizen)

Attorneys representing the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority and flats landowners debated about eminent domain and the Flats east bank project for five hours in Cuyahoga County Probate Court. At the judge's request, the two sides will attempt to reach a settlement in talks that will begin tomorrow. If they are unable to reach an agreement, Judge Corrigan is expected to make a ruling in the next 10 days.

The Flats east bank eminent domain case will be heard by a Cuyahoga County Probate Court judge this week. Both sides say that the Ohio Supreme Court's Norwood decision supports their position. Flats landowners argue that economic development is the sole reason for the eminent domain action, while the Port Authorty claims that the project will serve the public by creating new public areas and removing blight.

(Update: the weblog Psychobilly Democrat ponders whether the "development proponents exceed the 'solely for economic benefit' limit established in last year's Norwood decision.")

The 13 Garfield Heights landowners who are involved in eminent domain cases appear to be challenging the buyout figures offered by the developer, not the City's eminent domain power. The properties are on the site of the planned Bridgeview Crossing (PDFs) shopping center, and much of the neighborhood has already been demolished.

Demolition of buildings in the Flats east bank may begin soon. A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge dismissed a taxpayer's lawsuit against the Port Authority, and the City of Cleveland issued demolition permits for eight east bank buildings owned by developer Scott Wolstein.

(Update: workers have begun razing the buildings.)

Republicans in the Ohio Senate were expected to introduce two eminent domain bills today. One calls for establishing a uniform state standard for defining blight, and the other proposes a constitutional amendment that would allow the state to override local eminent domain laws. An Akron Beacon Journal editorial calls the proposals unreasonable.

Some residents of the area slated for redevelopment as the Bridgeview Crossing shopping center in Garfield Heights feel that developer Snider-Cannata Interests has not treated them fairly. Eminent domain cases are scheduled to be heard next Wednesday.

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