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State and Local Face Off Over Eminent Domain

The Ohio House and Senate each have pending legislation that would restrict the seizure of land under eminent domain for private use. Also, in a separate joint chamber resolution, lawmakers want to establish a statewide standard for eminent domain with a constitutional amendment.

Hudson Mayor William Currin heads up the Northeast Ohio Mayors & Managers Association. He says the proposals would impede economic development and wants to stick with the current state law.

William Currin: We feel that we are appropriately served by the current legislation. And we do feel that the determination under the guidelines that are provided by the state of Ohio in the hands of the local municipalities is sufficient.

Hudson and others see the proposals as another case of state authority trumping local control. The measures come about nine months after an Ohio Supreme Court decision applied a stricter standard on eminent domain, making it more difficult to take property solely for economic benefit. Bill Rice, 90.3.