Ohio task force to begin look at eminent domain: Cincinnati (OH) Inquirer, 2/17/06

By Jon Craig

A state task force studying the use of eminent domain in Ohio promised to meet an April 1 deadline for initial recommendations on balancing economic development interests against private property rights.

During its first meeting Thursday at the Statehouse, legislators said more detailed recommendations would be made by August. These could include proposed new laws or possible amendments to the Ohio Constitution.

At the Statehouse, Rep. Bill Seitz, R-Green Township, and Sen. Timothy Grendell, R-Chesterland, co-chairmen of a 24-member task force, said they will take suggestions from the public at a series of regional hearings.

Legislators also said they expect a state Supreme Court decision in a lawsuit brought by property owners against Norwood before the task force's work is completed this summer. In the meantime, the Ohio General Assembly banned all eminent domain actions outside of blighted areas through Dec. 31 as it studies the issue. Re-examination of Ohio law was prompted by a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June broadening the definition of "public use" to include economic development by other private property owners.

The state task force will meet 1 p.m. every other Thursday beginning March 2.

Cincinnati Enquirer: http://news.enquirer.com